Holywell Bay – Finding the Druids well


Holywell Bay unsurprisingly gets its name from a Holy Well, but there are 2 rival contenders for this!  The first is in the valley at Trevarrick (near the 18th hole of Holywell Golf Course).  The second, and more likely the original, is a freshwater spring in a sea cave at the north end of the beach.  In Cornish, the name is Porth Elyn, meaning “cove of the clear stream” which also lends weight to the latter being the original Holy Well.

If like me you watch Poldark, (a period drama set in Cornwall) then in one episode you would have seen three actors drinking from a Holy well at Holywell Bay. After looking at the episode were Morwenna, Drake and Geoffrey Charles drink from the druids well, I decided to find the well for myself. It couldn’t be more simple, the TV series had shown me where to look. I could tell by the scene that the 3 actors were looking out to sea towards Carters rock, they turn to their left and run to the cave where the well is situated…………….  I looked and looked but couldn’t find it. It was then I decided to ask the RNLI Lifeguard on duty. Thank you Rowan (hope I spelt your name correct) if it wasn’t for you I would still be looking on the wrong side of the beach

The location of the cave is not that obvious unless you know where to look.  If you follow the cliffs out towards the headland, you eventually pass a rocky ridge protruding parallel to the headland.  Behind this is an area of boulders, and behind the boulders is the cave.  Depending on the movement of the sand in rough seas, you may need to climb over boulders or wade through a rock pool to reach the cave.

On the Beach near the Low Water Line of Holywell Bay is this wreck. The SS. Francia, an Argentinean cargo ship that was carrying coal from Port Talbot to France when it ran aground in Holywell bay in 1917.

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