St Clether holy well chapel has a long history beginning in Celtic times when the spot where a spring rose from the ground was revered and the kind of place where many of the early saints chose to build their hermitages.
St Clether's holy well chapel is no exception, being founded by Cleder or Clederus, said to be one of the twenty-four children of Brechan of Wales, many of whom made their way to Cornwall and after which a number of surrounding parishes have been named.
This chapel is the largest in Cornwall, and is interestingly constructed in that the water which collects in the upper wellhouse, runs through the chapel and underneath the granite altar, remerging in the lower well and continuing on to join the River Inny.
Over the years the chapel itself has fallen into disrepair on a number of occasions, always to be eventually restored to its former glory. Major work was carried out in the fifteenth century and again in 1900 when the Reverend Baring-Gould rebuilt the chapel from nothing more than a pile of stonework found covered by weeds and brambles.
A major restoration has been carried out during 2009 including a complete rebuild of the roof and re-pointing the walls. There are some pictures of this on the Restoration page.
Thanks to all who have donated towards the roof fund - however maintainance is always needed so so if you would like to donate time or money towards the upkeep of the well, chapel and surroundings visit the Well Wishers page.
A short history of St Clether Holy Well Chapel is available for purchase at the chapel itself or through this website, which gives more detail of its history and contains black and white and colour photographs. A selection of greetings cards is also available for purchase. Please visit the merchandise section of the website for details.