St Clether
St Clether church
St Clether is a small village in the valley of the River Inney, two miles north of Altarnun and on the eastern edge of Bodmin Moor. The most intriguing historic site is a holy well dating to at least the 15th century.

Holy Well and Chapel

St Clether's holy well is located west of the church, about a 15-minute walk from the churchyard, up a sometimes muddy path. There is a small chapel beside the well. The chapel, well, and the parish church are all dedicated to St Cleder, or Clederus, a 5th-century offspring of the Welsh saint Brychan, King of Brycheiniog. Brychan had 24 children, many of whom travelled to Cornwall to spread Christianity.

Cleder is thought to have built his hermitage beside the spring, which already had a pagan significance. That first chapel was rebuilt in the 15th century to create the building we see today, then restored in the late 19th century by Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, author of the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers". There is just a single room, with a stone altar on one side.

The well is housed in the largest well building in Cornwall. The well rises from a spring, and flows from the wellhead, through the chapel, and out the other side, before eventually running into the River Inney. The site has been a subject for pilgrims since medieval times, and even today there are regular pilgrimages.

As for the parish church, it has a 15th-century tower, but the rest of the building is the result of a comprehensive rebuilding in 1865. One surviving feature from the original medieval church here is a Norman font decorated with rope banding on the shaft. Three Norman capitals survive in the south aisle.

Also in St Clether is Basil Manor, built in the 16th century by the Trevillyan family, on a courtyard plan, then rebuilt and extended in the 16th and 17th centuries.