Thursday, 21 November 2013

St Kenelm's Well

So today I went on a pilgrimage with a Pagan friend I made through my paid job to St Kenelm's Well, which is just outside of Clent in Worcestershire. The weather held out despite it being the greyest part of the day, which is probably just as well as neither of us were wearing waterproofs. We walked the slightly longer less scenic route of going by the road (not recommended if you are going at a weekend if you are walking) which was less muddy & passes Uffmoor Wood as featured in a previous article. On the way we say a white feral pigeon (what most would call a dove) acting more like a bird of prey in it's circling & swooping flight, it landed near us on the roof of a shed. The reason why I posted such a detail is that in the legend of St Kenelm when he was beheaded a dove flew out of his severed corpse ascending to heaven & a light shone on where his body was hidden, it was a strange coincidence but cool none of the less. When arriving at the church of St Kenelm it took my breath away it is a beautiful little church from the medieval period made of sandstone with bat like gargoyles adorning it. If you take the path to the right of the church you are going through the main entrance there are some steps leading down to the well, the steps are quite wide & muddy so do be careful. The well has a sandstone rill to a collection point. I collect some water from there in a jar & left an offering of some home grown pea seeds which will hopefully provide a snack for some wild creature hopefully. But we are not the only Pagans to visit the site as many have left offerings tied to the tree some of which are most definitely Pagan some may have been Christian too. The well area is in a bit of a sorry state as some of the decking in the area is rotting & it has become a little overgrown although it doesn't seem wrong for the setting, though the next time I'll go there I will take a set of secateurs with me to cut back a bramble that snags the unwary. It is a peaceful place & you can see why people visit it. After finishing at the well site we went back up to the church & walked to the lost settlement of Kenelmstowe which is now no more than earthworks of where buildings, roads & a stew pond were, some buildings are easier to spot than others. Again we walked back into the churchyard & had a look round there are some really old yew trees in there as well as a small cross which must be it's oldest gravemarker, it certainly looks the earliest & is one of the smallest in the church yard. there is also what looks like a stone bowl to leave offerings in as well. I do heartily recommend this as a place to visit whether Pagan, Christian or just someone who likes quiet reflective time. I will most definitely be returning again.

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