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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1894 edition. Excerpt: ... PREFACE. On turning over a book of manuscript notes on the ancient and holy wells of Cornwall, which had been collected from time to time by the late Mr. Thomas Quiller-Couch, we considered that these same notes might be arranged, the present condition of the wells therein mentioned ascertained, and some account given of any others of which we could find any trace. This idea has been most faithfully carried out, to the best of our ability; but the number of wells, which amounted to about forty in the original MS., swelled to more than ninety before the list was completed. A " pilgrimage" of several months' duration has been made to these sacred springs; therefore, in most cases the following account of their condition may be relied on as being that of an eye-witness, though, unfortunately, tidings of some holy wells reached us after we had left the county and were unable to revisit it. Even now we fear that there may be some which have received no notice whatever: if this be the case, the omission arises from ignorance of their existence, not from any desire to pass them over. It is difficult, even now, to gain authentic information of the old customs, ceremonies, and traditions of these holy springs, so quickly and surely does the hand of civilisation and progress wipe away the old beliefs and superstitions. That superstition still lingers among the Cornish is beyond doubt; but it lurks in their minds, and betrays itself in the wearing of a secret charm, or the half-playful dropping of a pin into the well by the sentimental maiden; not in serious visitations to the consecrated spot, with solemn ceremonies, in search of health or tidings of the future, as in former times. A history of the ancient and holy wells of Cornwall had been a...