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OS grid ref:- SW 418293

Sancreed Holy WellSituated around 3 miles from Penzance the small village of Sancreed lies in the stunning landscape of the Land's End peninsula

Sancreed, known in Cornish as Eglossankres, was founded by St Creden, or Credan, a follower of St Petroc. According to legend Creden accidentally kiled his father, and as a sign of remorse he punished himself by living as a swineherd.

The granite village church, dedicated to St Credan, dates mainly to the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. Its tower is late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, though was heavily restored in 1881. A medieval holy water stoup stands by the door, the font is Norman and is decorated with carved angels holding heraldic shields. The rood screen which has curious carvings at the base.

Two large Celtic crosses stand in the churchyard. The first is situated directly east of the entrance porch, it is carved on all sides, with the figure of Christ in the centre of the cross head. The cross stands 5 feet 9 inches high.

The second larger cross stands beside the path from the church to the southeast gate to the churchyard. This cross stands about about 9 feet high, though some of that length is buried in the ground. The shaft and head are carved on all sides; it is thought to be one of the finest incised Celtic crosses in Cornwall.

The Sancreed Beacon provides stunning views of the entire peninsula. The remains of a signinficant prehistoric settlement at nearby Carn Euny, include a remarkably well-preserved fogou more than twenty meters long and roofed with massive stone slabs. Carn Euny, which was abandoned towards the end of the Roman period, dates back at least to Neolithic times.

Sancreed Holy Well

SancreedThe holy well of Sancreed, also known as Chapel Downs, is an ancient religious Celtic site that pre dates christianity.

The well lies in a pine and holly grove and is located a few hundred metres to the west of the vilage, the site was rediscovered by the vicar of Sancreed in the late nineteenth century, having been hidden by a thicket.

The well chamber has corbelled walls and a stone slab roof. The well is underground and lined with glowing moss-green phosphorence, but can be reached via a short flight of steps. 2 feet of water with twice the level of background radiation gather in the chamber.

There is a tradition of hanging cloughties (small strips of cloth) on the surrounding trees. The tradition dates back to pagan times, and says that if an ill person hangs a cloutie at a holy well, and either bathes in the water or drinks it, then as the cloutie disintegrates the illness will pass.

A short distance above the well itself is a small, ruinous granite chapel, or baptistry. The baptistry is thought to date from thw medieval era, with a doorway in the south side of a rectangular layout.

Next to the baptistery ruin there is a modern Celtic cross which was erected in 1910.

Cornish Towns and Villages