Ancient Roman Britain


The Sacred Well at Tintangle

Upon the hill fort area around the well, there is a lane leading up to the superb spectacle of St Nectan’s Well.  It led to a well, and  throughout the whole valley that lead down to the sea is one of the mystical  as well as one of the most strangely beautifully sacred places at Tintangle in Cornwall. 

The breezes that whisper through the hedgerows and around the tree tops are laden with a mysterious quality that defies description. But first the legend.

The story of St Nectan associated with this place must serve as a background for this old well, for  there was an intimate connection between the anciently-revered spring and the other in this mysterious valley. 

In medieval times, pilgrims on their way to visit the hermitage at the head of the glen would have invariably stopped at the well to drink its pure water, where they would be healed from all their ailments. 

It seems St Nekton settled beside the Trevillet river, building his sanctuary above a mystic waterfall and kieve (Cornish for ‘basin’) in this most secluded spot, in about the sixth century. 

The waters tumble in a spray of silver mist through an arch of stone into the kieve, shaped like an immense sugar bowl twenty feet deep, before flowing away down through the densely wooded valley, past a ruined mill and mysterious, ancient rock carvings of mazes, to find a meandering way to the sea. 

Tradition has it that St Nekton’s near the waterfall had a tower in which hung a silver bell, which would ring out to summon help from the castle in Tintagel in times of storm and shipwreck, for, from the tower, ships could see both castle and coast.

Tintangle Kingdom- Cornwall


Good Morning Wales.
Upon these cliffs I wondered

Stone walls built to magnificent height

Once raised to the stars,

A fortress once made tall 

This place is where legends grew,

And where Kings became larger than life. 

Royal roots were planted steep

Came from this mystical land,

And born here rising out of the deep. 

A paradise lost on earth it did keep,

The fallow soars in the wind sweeping,

Giving shelter, kept from the rain. 

This castle keep housed the blood royals, 

Safe in the mountain with love and care,

Surviving the circle here, a home in the cliff,

None were fake just naked and bare,

Ancient cliffs given by nature; Arthur’s Legend,

To those once for all who dwelled there. 

Into the mountain, into mystic caves

Finding no fault in nature; rivers and stream 

Majestic as it just wants to be, flowing 

Free of shame, no hate, or vengeance,  

Purpose and reason came from these waters

A sacred well springing up quenching 

The mountains and valleys did drink,

To satisfy the Kings thirst for knowledge

In the mountain of life around this big sea. 

There is a strong connection to the earth

Here in this place there is a presence, 

I feel it; a sense of awe and wonder

It represents the chance of rebirth. 

Once a heaven made free; mysterious 

Free from stress and full of mirth,

Found the sunset in the high of glory

In the Kingdom of Tintangle,

When the gods were here on this earth. 

Tintagel Castle 

(Cornish: Dintagel, meaning “fort of the constriction”) is a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island, adjacent to the village of Tintagel in Cornwall, England, in the United Kingdom. 

The site was possibly occupied in the Romano-British period, as an array of artefacts dating to this period have been found on the peninsula, but as yet no Roman era structure has been proven to have existed there. 

It subsequently saw settlement during the Early Medieval period, when it was probably one of the seasonal residences of the regional king of Dumnonia. In the 13th century, during the Later Medieval period. 

In the 1930s, excavations revealed significant traces of a much earlier high status settlement, which had trading links with the Mediterranean during the Late Roman period.

The castle has a long association with Arthurian legends. This began in the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his mythical account of British history, the Historia Regum Britanniae, described Tintagel as the place of Arthur’s conception. 

Geoffrey told the story that Arthur’s father, King Uther Pendragon, was disguised by Merlin’s sorcery to look like Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, the husband of Ygerna, Arthur’s mother.