St. Clether Holy Chapel and Well
St. Clether.

Investigated on July 10th, 2007

Hidden deeply away in the tiny Cornish village of St. Clether stands one of the largest holy wells in the county. During it's lifespan of over half a millenium (which has seen disrepair and full restoration twice) it must have seen so much history, so much emotion, so many stories. Set in a beautiful area of totally unspoiled scenary, Hidden Realms spent some time at both the chapel and in the grounds of the nearby church. What was caught...?

History
Reports suggest that the original Holy Well and Chapel were built in Celtic times, possibly around the 5th century by a Welsh saint going by the name of either St. Cleder or St. Clederus who is said to have been one of the twenty-four children of Brechen of Wales. Many of the surrounding parishes around St. Clether are seemingly named after many of the other Brechen children, suggesting that many of them travelled and set up home in that area of the county.

The chapel and well slowly fell into disrepair over the many centuries it's been standing. In the 15th century the building was rebuilt and restored to its former glory, but that evidentally transpired to be a temporary restoration and again, over the years, it eventually became nothing more than a pile of stonework that was covered by weeds and brambles.

However, in 1895-1900 the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould completely rebuilt the chapel and holy well and fully restored it to its former glory. This is how the chapel stands today.

Area Map

Stories

»
The most famous paranormal story attached to the chapel is that a figure has been seen inside that is said to be that of the Reverend Baring-Gould who, by all accounts, loved the place.
»
Another story that was discovered during our research of the place is that there have been reports of the sound of horses hooves in the area. Which particular area however (the chapel grounds itself or on the pathway to it) is not specified.
»
During our day visit we were greeted by the Chapels owner Vanda who showed us the building and recited a little of the history and spooky goings on. When we were there she showed us a photo that had been taken inside during what appears to be a Christmas service. Upon review the photo showed a fine, swirling mist which what appeared to be what could be described as a figure with wings at the top-right of the shot. Click on the picture on the left to see a larger copy.

Equipment We Used
The group used the following equipment during our investigation:

»
A DAT recorder was left in the Chapel during the 3 hours that the group went to have a pub dinner. Upon our return this recorder was relocated to the graveyard of the nearby Church.
»
Another DAT recorder was left beside the Holy Well during the evenings vigil.
»
A selection of the coins from the Coin Trigger Object experiment were set up on the altar.
»
The Cross Trigger Object was set up alongside the DAT recorder beside the Holy Well.
»
During the groups time in the Chapel the glass and planchette were used.

Mediumship Evidence
The history to the Chapel and Well is sadly very concise, and as such much of the information that was picked up cannot be substanciated.

»

Both Kim and Chris picked up on a Guardian of the chapel, both stating that it was female. Kim reports that this female figure was wearing a flowing gown or robe that was in all shades of blues and greens. Chris reports that on a previous visit the Guardian appeared as a transparant green hue whereas on the night the Guardian was more feminine and had along, dark hair with a greenish hue to her dress. Kim gave a name Brigid for the Guardian and Chris gave the name Brigida. As Chris states, "she seemed to be the very essence of all things nature." and both Kim and Chris sensed that she was of Pagan origin.

»

Dennis reported being given a name six or seven times which sounded like 'Gwythor Maw' and was being said in a females voice, but not as if it were a threat - more a loud statement. Although no Cornish roots can be found for such a thing it appears to have more connections with Wales - interesting because this was where St. Cleder / Clederus originated before re-settling in Cornwall.

»

Potential images of war and battle was both sensed and heard by Kim on the pathway going towards the Chapel. Kim reports hearing a drumming sound and a shouting that sounded, as Kim reports, like a battlecry. Soon after this Kim reports sensing a small group of bare-chested men trotting towards the Chapel. She says that they had smears of paint on both their cheekbones and the tops of their arms / shoulders.

»

During the recci before the night-time vigil Chris reported sensing the presence of a monk standing to the right side of the altar. He was wearing a brown robe with a hood that covered his head. On the night itself Chris again reported the presence of a monk and felt that, as the Guardian was of Pagan origin, the monk was there, in effect, representating the Church.

»

Chris reports sensing that she felt a sweep of energy in the Chapel that is seemingly enhanced when the side door is opened.

»
During the Recci Vanda (the owner of the Chapel and Holy Well) was speaking to the group about a little of the history. During this Chris reports sensing the spirit of a male who was standing behind the group by the side door. As Vanda moved onto the Victorian restoration, and in particular the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould felt that the presence became stronger and appeared to come closer. She asked the spirit if they came to the Chapel regularly and if they were male, the answer to both being 'Yes'. She felt that the figure was quite tall and was formally dressed.
»
During a meditation Betty smelled flowers and sensed children and adults moving along the path outside and from the other side of the river coming in from all directions towards the Chapel. They were carrying semi-circular half-hooped pieces of wood above their heads that were decorated in flowers. It seemed to be like a May Day celebration.
»
Also during the meditation Dennis felt as if he were shelling peas and upon opening his eyes his hands were moving as if he were using a rosary.
»
Late on in the investigation Dennis had the mental image of a 'huge frog or toad' in the corner by the main door; about the size of a labrador sitting. Dennis dismissed this until Vanda later told him that a toad liked to spend a lot of time in the corner where he had seen the big toad but unfortunately one day he got a bit too close to the swinging door. Soon after this a visitor wrote in the guesbook that they had seen a baby toad sitting out on the fountain.
»
Kim picked up on the names Peter and Nicholas in the Chapel. Dennis picked up on the names Entwhistle and Ezriel (which is also an Angelic name).

Physical Evidence

»
The DAT recorder that was left to record in the Chapel as the group left to go have something to eat recorded some pretty interesting sounds. It was set up late in the afternoon and signs were placed on both the door to the Chapel itself and back at the pathway entrance just behind the Church to ensure that other people wouldn't accidentally come near to the church. Now, although it cannot be proven that nobody ventured near the building whilst we weren't there the probability of someone doing so is very slim as a whole, and also no such tell-tale sounds (such as footsteps on the gravel path or the gate outside being opened) were recorded. Both doors on the Chapel are sturdy and closed tight - they were not hanging open and swinging in a breeze. There wasn't even a breeze for the doors to swing on if they were open. Because of this, theoretically, the DAT should have recorded nothing but silence during our absense. However, upon replaying the audio through the computer the next day Mike was a little surprised to hear a variety of loud knocks and bangs coming from inside the Chapel itself. What these knocks are being caused by us up for debate. We are certain however that they were not made by a person.

Sadly, bar what was recorded on the DAT no other physical evidence was recorded. None of the trigger objects moved and the recorder picked up nothing in the graveyard.

Afterthoughts
St. Clether Holy Well and Chapel is probably one of the most beautiful locations we've investigated. We highly recommend it to anybody who is interested in ghosts, religion and / or beautiful scenery. Although not an active location paranormal-wise it was felt that the place has a remarkable residual energy about it with a Guardian keeping watch and the Reverend Baring-Gould checking back every now and then.


We had a lovely time at St. Clethers! Many thanks go out to Vanda for letting us spend the night there, and for letting us use her photo of the mist captured on camera (See evidence page).

St. Clether Holy Well and Chapel Website