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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

St. Guron's Well 1545

"Night and day, in the driest and hottest seasons, ever flowing, it serves the people with crystal water; a side trough refreshes the passing cattle; and it lays the dust of Bodmin Streets" Quiller Couch 1894


The earliest reference to the well appears in the 12th century "Life of St Petroc", where it is said he built two habitations in the place where Vuron (Guron) had lived, in the valley by the well. (Bodmin)


The well house (more accurately a spring) is thought to date from around 1545 and was originally built of granite slabs throughout. The water that supplied the well now issues through the mouths of the two gargoyles at the foot of St Petroc's churchyard, these are also dated 1545.

To digress, Arthur Quiller-Couch was born in the town of Bodmin, Cornwall. He was the son of Dr Thomas Quiller Couch, who was a noted physician, folklorist and historian who married Mary Ford and lived at 63, Fore Street, Bodmin, until his death in 1884. Arthur was the third in a line of intellectuals from the Couch family. His grandfather, Jonathan Couch, was a naturalist, physician, historian, classicist, apothecary, and illustrator (particularly of fish). His younger sisters Florence Mabel and Lilian M. were also writers and folklorists.


Although a prolific novelist, he is remembered mainly for the monumental publication The Oxford Book of English Verse 1250–1900 and for his literary criticism. He influenced many who never met him, including American writer Helene Hanff,


He is mentioned in one of my favourite films "84 Charing Cross Road" a film I never tire of watching. 84, Charing Cross Road is a 1970 book by Helene Hanff, later made into a stage play, television play, and film, about the twenty-year correspondence between the author and Frank Doel, chief buyer of Marks & Co antiquarian booksellers, located at the eponymous address in London, England. The film is a 1987 British-American drama directed by David Jones, and starring Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench, Mercedes Ruehl, and Jean De Baer. It is produced by Bancroft's husband, Mel Brooks.

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