Isle of Albion
New Update Pending
Extremely secluded and magical site with a holy well.
Photographed: Sunday 14th October 2012
Other Names: Llangybi
Site rating:  

St Cybi's Well is a holy well located in a picturesque vale to the north of Llangybi. The main approach to the well is via a stone causeway running along the eastern edge of the waterlogged field that fronts the site to the south.

The spring sits to the north of the site, enclosed by a small chamber. The waters flow into an adjacent chamber to the south, built of large stone blocks. This building encloses a bathing pool, approximately two metres in width. It is bordered along its edges by a stone walkway, with alcoves in the wall providing space for either offerings, candles or seating.

While the building surrounding the bathing pool is of indeterminate age, the adjacent cottage is dated to the middle of the 18th Century. This may have been used either to house a well-keeper, or possibly as accommodation for visiting pilgrims.

A fast-flowing stream exists the bathing pool to the south, flowing along the edge of the field to another structure, which may have been used as a latrine. The distance between the two is bridged by a second stone causeway.

St Cybi's Well was most likely a sacred site long before the Romans arrived in Britain, but its later history is as a place of Christian healing. Many such wells exist throughout Wales, and they are most usually dedicated to Celtic saints - perhaps hinting at earlier associations. Such sites are generally attributed with curative properties, and St Cybi's Well is no exception. Its waters were said to cure warts, lameness, blindness and rheumatism.

In the 18th Century, a typical treatment involved the consumption of equal quantities of well-water and sea water, morning and evening, for a prescribed period. The patient would then retire to the cottage each night after bathing, to await the results.

This is a highly unusual site, and the location away from the beaten track, along with the scenic setting, make for a tranquil and enjoyable visit. The well is situated in spot that makes it very easy to forget the 21st Century world, and even in its ruinous state, St Cybi's Well still feels like a place of pilgrimage.