As the country reflects upon the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum, I thought it would germane to consider one of the county’s most fascinating holy well especially being near a contentious battle of course! I have looked at your webpage. It sits on the Culloden Battlefield Trail. In some places, human hair, coins, whole items of children’s clothing, and other offerings join the ripped bits of fabric, sometimes marked with written messages. Enclosed in a woodland settling is one of Scotland’s greatest clootie well, Tobar na Coille often called St. Mary’s Well, but translated means the well of the wood. What hotels are near Clootie Well? They survived the War and did meet! Here, brightly colored rags are hung by people suffering from various ailments as a form of offering to the spirits. It sits on the Culloden Battlefield Trail. Until the early 1970s, this pilgrimage was well attended with 'buses laid on to cater for the crowds. Best wishes. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. There is also a longer Culloden Battlefield Trail, which explores the whole battle field area. The nearby newsagent used to hold the key which was given out on loan, however, he said the key was taken and not returned in recent history. The rag or cloot is dipped in the well and tied to a tree in the hope that a sickness or ailment will fade as the rag disintegrates. It is possible that a spring of water near the old chapel was the original St Mary’s well and after the battle it was moved to this spring. Culloden Battlefield has been restored as close as possible to how it was when battle took place in April 1746. It’s position not far from the battle site of Culloden resulted in it becoming called the Culloden Well. Clootie Well in Culloden Woods © TedandJen/Flickr In today’s world, the predominance of synthetic non-biodegradable fibres, such as nylon, have meant that the cloots are no longer decaying as they once did. Enclosed in a woodland settling is one of Scotland’s greatest clootie well, Tobar na Coille often called St. Mary’s Well, but translated means the well of the wood. Itinerary. culloden woods is easily one of my favourite places to walk my dog, there's an ever-changing feel to a wood, the leaves never look the same and there are so many routes through the woods, you never do the same route twice. Well, that must be about 15 years ago. Such large crowds attracted the wrong sorts and stories of debauchery were spread by the papers and the more intolerant members of the Kirk. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. Several years ago I asked about access to St. Triduana’s well, which I recall accessing as a child. October 2, 2020. Secret Shrines: A Ghostly Sort of Place…. There is a well nearer the battle site which does bear the name, Well of the dead. ( Log Out /  Four thousand in all…today some come but not as many. Or, you can also get picked up. They were left by the clootie well’s visitors, imbued with their hopes for healing and guidance. 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This may be based on the idea of a local ‘priestess’ who would stay at the well and help visitors…or more likely a way of endorsing this either Pagan or commercial enterprise. It’s easy to find and the circular walk is not long at all. No purchase necessary. St Mary’s Well is an older site, a traditional clootie well. A Cloot is another name for a cloth or a rag. Culloden House – Bonnie Prince Charlie used Culloden House as his lodging and HQ prior to the fateful battle on Culloden Moor. The Clootie Well is a rather weird remnant of an ancient tradition once commonly found in Scotland and Ireland, of holy wells to which pilgrims would come and make offerings, usually in … Clearly the name, Tobar n’Oige is not far from Tír na nÓg, well of the dead. They are wells or springs and usually have a large tree growing beside them with strips of cloth tied to them as part of the healing process. 1. Find out about the events before, during and after the battle. Clootie Wells: Where the Trees Are Weighed Down in Rotting Rags. Clootie Well, Munlochy, Scotland (photograph by Davie Conner). For example, in Scotland there’s one near Munlochy and another on the Black Isle, while in Cornwall there’s Madron Well, Alsia Well, and Sancreed Well, and in Ireland one at Loughcrew. The obvious explanation is that this is associated with the battle but that may be coincidental? Downloads – information on holy and healing wells, Holy Well and Healing Springs Bibliography, Research and Speaker requests – Book a speaker, Survey on Votive offerings at Holy and healing springs please contribute, Cenotés and Other Sacred Waters of the Americas, DIPPING WELLS: A Gazetteer of Monmouthshire Wellsites. This sadly continues, but there is evidence of traditional fabric.  The day to go to the well was the first Sunday in May, which underlines the association of the site with the old Pagan Celtic tradition of Beltaine. Posted on September 19, 2014, in Inverness, Scotland and tagged calendar customs, Clootie, Culloden, Holy well blog, Rag well, Scotland, Scotland Independence, St Mary. As the piece of clothing rots it is supposed to heal what ever was ailing the person who put it there. St Mary’s Well, Culloden © Copyright don cload and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. 2 St Mary's Well (Clootie well), Culloden Woods IV2 5GU (by path from Westfield). In Scots nomenclature, a "clootie" or "cloot" is a strip of cloth or rag. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. ( Log Out /  I prefer the faerie idea… Tokens hung from every branch within arm’s reach, and a fair few that weren’t. It seemed a quirky place to visit. It’s easy to find and the circular walk is not long at all. The Black Isle Clootie Well (photograph by Amanda Slater), Discover more of the world’s curious rites and rituals on the Atlas Obscura >. It is now in the garden of a Toby Inn. Is it to protect the visitors from the vagaries of the spring, prevent animals entering or perhaps protect the decency of anyone who would bath here. While the ritual varies around the different clootie wells — named for the Scottish word “clootie” referring to cloth — the principle is that by leaving a rag on the tree, before or after cleansing a tortured part of your body with it using water from the spring, you will receive some relief from illness or pain as it disintegrates in the forest. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. As Lizanne Henderson and Edward J. Cowan explain in Scottish Fairy Belief: A History: ”The efficacy of such curing processes varied but might not be complete until the rags had completely deteriorated.”. There is said to have once been a chapel on the site. It’s position not far from the battle site of Culloden resulted in it becoming called the Culloden Well. ( Log Out /  As such, Culloden House featured heavily in Outlander towards the end of series and book two. From what I've seen, it looks eerie but very impressive. When you find it, write your name and date in the logbook. As a site is did not survive the 1746 battle and nothing can be traced on the ground. Mostly wide, uneven gravel and earth surface. The fabric is unusual as well. Until recently, it was a popular holiday, with an ice-cream van situated in the car park. Culloden House – where the Charles Edward Stuart and his Officers stayed, and many of the Jacobites camped, prior to the battle. Does the well at Toby Inn belong to the Restaurant Chain, the individual Inn or Scottish Historical?? The first stop for book lovers visiting Inverness should be Leakey’s, … Known as clootie wells, the ritual dates back to Celtic belief in the cures of water spirits, and continues as a source of spiritual healing. It seemed a quirky place to visit. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. The number of clouties in nearby trees and the flowers floating in the spring itself, indicate that the well still has a significant number of visitors. Clootie Well A Celtic tradition, the Clootie Well bears colourful rags across the trees. This well was traditionally visited on the first Sunday in May. Indeed it appears to have even more names – The Blue Well and the Tobar n’Oige of the Well of Youth. Look out for the interpretive However, even in the 1940s the Inverness Courier reported that on the first Sunday of May six Cameron Highland, wished over a well in a Tunisian olive grow as they tied their cloots that they be back at St. Mary’s Culloden. If you take something from the container, leave something in exchange. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Morris and Morris (1980) inform us that in the 1930s as a many as a dozen buses were running from Inverness to carry visitors to the spot, who would drop coins and several pounds were recovered from the well and given to charity. A visit on May day would reveal wine! Clava Cairns Winner will be selected at random on 02/01/2021. The Wellsprings Fellowship: a brief introduction, WELL RESEARCHED: Holy Wells and Other Holy Places, St Wita’s well, Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset, WELL RESTORED The Holy Well, Morvah: a well lost and found, WELL RESTORED: A Village Well, Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire, WELLS IN DEPTH: The Documentation of Ffynnon Ddeier: Some Problems Reconsidered, WHOLLY WELL READ – Christina Martin (2000), WHOLLY WELL READ – Robert Charles Hope (2000), WHOLLY WELL READ Lincolnshire Springs and Wells: a descriptive catalogue, WHOLLY WELL READ: Stone and Tree Sheltering Water, WHOLLY WELL READ: The Ancient Crosses and Wells of Lancashire a revised version, Wiltshire Healing Wells and the Strange Case of Purton Spa, Histogram showing the frequency of healing properties associated with wells in Wiltshire, Table comparing contemporary accounts of Salt’s Hole/Purton Spa with writings in 1990s, The Source (1984-88, 94-96) and Living Spring Journal (2000) Online Archive – An Introduction, The SOURCE The Holy Wells Journal First Series Contents, Ancient, Healing and Holy Wells of County Durham, Holy & Notable Wells of the Cambridge District, Holy Well, St Michael’s Churchyard, Longstanton, Cambridgeshire, Imbolc 1987 – Bride’s Well, Melbost Borve, Legend of the Holy Well Haw, Leicestershire, Notes Towards a Survey of Shropshire Holy Wells – 1, Notes Towards a Survey of Shropshire Holy Wells – 2, Notes Towards a Survey of Shropshire holy wells – 3, Notes Towards a Survey of Shropshire Holy Wells – 4, Notes Towards a Survey of Shropshire Holy Wells – 5, On the Ancient Custom of Decorating Wells with Flowers etc, Report on the Application for the Scheduling of St Helen’s Well, Pocklington, Second Report on the Application for the Scheduling of St Helen’s Well, Pocklington. The practice of visiting on a specific day has declined sharply in recent years. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. Or does it refer to the battle not far away? 4. You'll start at. DIPPING WELLS: IS There a Healing Well in Liberton? Enclosed in a woodland settling is one of Scotland’s greatest clootie well, Tobar na Coille often called St. Mary’s Well, but translated means the well of the wood. In the heart of Culloden Woods, just a short distance from the Battlefield is a walled Clootie Well known as St Mary’s well. ... Clootie Well, Culloden Woods. Private Trip: Immersive Art and Otherworldly Landscapes of Santa Fe, Culinary Naples: Producers, Purveyors, and Pizzaioli, Writing a Personal History With Hadley Meares and Jessica Leigh Hester, Seeing America Through Its Roadside Signs, Why 1920s L.A. The Clootie Well.It is a well or spring that tradtions will lead people to dip a piece of clothing into the water, say a prayer and tie it to one of the trees. Dipping a cloot (rag) in the well and tying it to a tree is said to bring good luck. Just finished reading John Rankins Naming of the dead in the book he refers to a Clootie Well albeit he says it is near Fortrose in the Black Isle. Traditionally, a piece of cloth is dipped in the water of the holy well, then tied to a branch while a prayer is said to the spirit of the well…. I had read about the Clootie Well, as one of several Celtic places of pilgrimage, whilst researching the NC500. ( Log Out /  Join us for a video tour around the inside of Culloden House and discover the history ‘hidden in plain sight’.. Please choose biodegradable material for your cloot! If you want to bring a cloot by all means do – biodegradable cotton or wool are best for the environment. Pagan and Christian traditions merge at St Mary’s Well – legend has it that if you visit on the first Sunday in May to dip your cloot (a rag) in the well and tie it … In the heart of Culloden woods is St Mary`s well. Did this gain the name when the other adopted St. Mary, or does this suggest a strong Beltaine tradition in the area. Here you are meant to dip a piece of clothing into the water and tie it to a tree for the faeries, as an offering. ... Clootie Well; Discover and book GHD Clan tour of OUTLANDER series on Tripadvisor. Visit the Culloden Battlefield and other areas where Claire and Jamie travel. Crack, to Culloden clootie well. Surely, a significant site. Use a GPS-enabled device to navigate to the provided coordinates, which will then lead you to one or more locations. Old Wordly Town of Cromarty, Amazing The Clootie Well Sir Alexander Mackenzie The Fairy Glen Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. In Celtic tradition, you soaked a strip of cloth (a "clootie") in the holy water of such a well, used it to wash an afflicted part of your body, and left the clootie hanging on an adjacent sacred tree (usually hawthorn or ash). 15 minutes at most. ... Tour the Highlands Culloden, Cairns and Cawdor 2 to 15 passengers (From USD 151.16) See all Clootie Well experiences on Tripadvisor. Learn how your comment data is processed. Culloden Battlefield Clava Cairns Beauly Priory The Clootie Well Eagle Stone at Strathpeffer Wardlaw Mausoleum: The Black Isle and Dolphins at Chanonry Point. DIPPING WELLS: Wiltshire Healing Wells and the Strange Case of Purton Spa: What do the healing wells cure? Interestingly, it is said that the well or chapel gained its name from the belief that Mary herself lived in the area and administered to the sick. © 2021 Atlas Obscura. Dolphin Watching – Fingers Crossed! The site or just to honour the culloden clootie well, faerie, or the modern of! 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