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St. Cynhafal's Well, Llangynhafal


According Wirt Sykes in ‘British Goblins’ (1881), ‘St. Cynhafal's well, on a hillside in Llangynhafal parish, Denbighshire, is one of those curing wells in which pins are thrown. Its specialty is warts. To exorcise your wart you stick a pin in it and then throw the pin into this well; the wart soon vanishes. The wart is a form of human trouble which appears to have been at all times and in all countries a special subject of charms, both in connection with wells and with pins. Where a well of the requisite virtue is not conveniently near, the favourite form of charm for wart-curing is in connection with the wasting away of some selected object. Having first been pricked into the wart, the pin is then thrust into the selected object — in Gloucestershire it is a snail — and then the object is buried or impaled on a blackthorn in a hedge, and as it perishes the wart will disappear. The scapegoat principle of the sin-eater also appears in connection with charming away warts, as where a ‘vagrom man’ counts your warts, marks their number in his hat, and goes away, taking the warts with him into the next county — for a trifling consideration.’

The well is on private ground near to the Church of St Cynhafal, Llangynhafal and permission should be sought before trying to visit it.


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