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Holy Wells in Britain: A Guide [Paperback]

Janet Bord
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 14.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 April 2008
Holy wells were once widespread throughout Britain. They were often dedicated to local saints and were important features in the medieval sacred landscape. Over many centuries, pilgrims sought the healing powers of their waters, and many left votive offerings in the form of bent pins, coins and rags.


Interest in this aspect of our sacred heritage has been growing since the publication of Janet Bord's first book on holy wells over twenty years ago. Many holy wells have now been restored, and the modern visitor may still experience a quiet communion with the spirit of the place, and come away spiritually uplifted.


For this book Janet Bord has sought out three hundred of the surviving holy wells of England, Wales and Scotland that are most rewarding to visit, and she recounts their histories and traditions in the light of current historical research.


'Holy Wells in Britain' is the first guidebook to British holy wells to draw upon the extensive research of recent decades. Up-to-date practical information for visitors is also provided to inspire readers to seek out these evocative sacred sites for themselves.


This guide is a companion to Janet Bord's recent book, 'Cures and Curses: Ritual and Cult at Holy Wells' (2006).


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Holy Wells in Britain: A Guide + Sacred Wells: A Study in the History, Meaning, and Mythology of Holy Wells and Waters
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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Heart of Albion Press (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905646097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905646098
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 17.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 700,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Indispensable New Holy Well Guide 1 May 2008
More than twenty years after Janet & Colin Bord's 'Sacred Waters', which really sparked off the modern interest in holy wells, comes this book, a companion, in the form of a field guide, to Janet's 'Cures and Curses', published in 2006 and which examined the various motifs in the folklore of watery sites. 'Holy Wells in Britain' lays out county-by-county some of the wells which are most rewarding to visit, with details of each and in most cases a photograph, plus a section at the end on source material and further information. Most of the photographs are newly-published, and I was particularly pleased with the aerial shot of Ffynnon Fair at Cefn (p.151), which actually shows how the well itself relates to the chapel - very helpful for someone who's never been there! The huge variety of these ancient sites comes across very well, and Janet conveys a real sense of a hidden landscape speckled with numinous places awaiting rediscovery; exactly the feeling that attracted me to well-hunting by 'Sacred Waters', among other things. Easily the most moving image in the book, however, is the photo (p.55) of the residents of North Marston proudly showing off the restored well of Sir John Schorne - a tribute to their effort and pride in their community's past.

This book gives a splendid account of the current state of holy wells in Britain. I can't think of a better to introduce people to the subject, or indeed to re-enthuse a jaded 'well-ie'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent new book 3 April 2008
Another lovely and fascinating book for those of us drawn to wells and watery sources generally. Broken down into Wales, Scotland, or regions of England, the book features a selection of over three hundred especially rewarding to visit wells. There are many black and white photographs, directions, and Ordnance Survey references. The book features an excellent index and details of the author's sources, paper and web-based.
There's a sense of wonder throughout, of tapping into something old and mysterious in our heritage. It was almost lost, but the last few decades have seen a revival of interest in such wells. This book forms a part of our increasing knowledge base about them and encourages us to get to know them more. I am inspired to visit more wells, especially those local to me, and to begin to really get to know them much better than I do now.
A useful and stimulating reference book that is a pleasure to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This was a present for friends. They tell me ... 17 July 2014
Verified Purchase
This was a present for friends. They tell me it is just what they needed to follow thier interest in Holy Wells of Britain .
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