Sacred Waters: Holy Wells And Water Lore In Britain And Ireland by Janet & Colin Bord


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London: Paladin, 1986. Softcover. 285 pages. Shelf wear to the extremities, text clean, a very good copy. 

Sacred Waters: Holy Wells And Water Lore In Britain And Ireland

'Janet and Colin Bord explore the cult of water as it developed over the centuries in Britain and Ireland. Water symbolises the Great Mother, it is the basis of all life and has universally been used in religious rituals as a means of purification, healing and renewal. In Britain and Ireland, water worship was a strong part of pagan religion, but was transformed and incorporated into an 'acceptable' Christian practice. Holy wells and springs become associated with particular saints rather than with pagan deities, and churches were often built nearby. 

Certain wells were said to cure specific ailments, sore eyes being the most common, but infertility, leprosy, warts, toothache all had a well, loch or even waterfall which could provide a cure. 

In the late twentieth century, with a constant supply of water in every home, belief in the sacred nature of life-giving water has all but vanished. However, as this book shows, there are sings of renewed awareness of our total dependence on unpolluted wate and a revival of interest in water lore. This Gazetteer if easily accessible wells in good repair reveals the considerable number of holy wells that can still be visited in Britain and Ireland.'