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DUPATH WELL

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  DUPATH HOLY WELL
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Dupath Well is a large and elaborate late medieval holy well house over a flowing spring, situated 1.5 kilometres east-south-east of Callington. In the medieval period the cult of holy wells was prominent, and led to about 40 Cornish springs or wells having structures built over them, usually simple gabled houses. Dupath is an unusually large and late example and has survived largely unaltered. Adjacent to the well house is a medieval, circular trough that collects the outflowing water. The holy well survives with a rectangular well house measuring 3.9 metres by 3.59 metres externally and is built entirely of granite ashlar. The holy well house has been dated to circa 1510 and incorporates architectural features typical of the 15th century to the early 16th century. It was built on land that was then named 'Theu Path', acquired by the Augustinian canons of St Germans in 1432 and remaining in their possession until their priory was dissolved in 1539. A tradition persists that this holy well is located close to a chapel dedicated to St Ethelred, licensed in 1405, though the identification of that chapel with this site remains insecure. At one time the spring at Dupath was believed to cure whooping cough, and it has also been suggested that the spring may have been used on occasion for baptisms. The visitors would have left offerings and may have been a source of income for the canons. A local legend also recounts that two Saxons - Colan and Gottlieb - fought a duel there for a lady's hand. The well was partly restored during the 19th century by the Reverend HM Rice, the rector of South Hill and Callington. Further consolidation and drainage at the monument was undertaken by the Ministry of Works and their successors after the monument passed into Guardianship in 1936. It is now in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.