place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
- HAROLD'S STONES, TUMP TURRET AND THE VIRTUOUS WELL
The beautiful Wye
Valley village of Trellech (Trelleck), South Wales is located
16 miles west of Ross-on-Wye,
and is close to Monmouth, Llandogo and Tintern.
The village derives its name from the three standing stones,
known as 'Harold's Stones' - 'tre or tri' bing the Welsh for three
and 'lech' meaning flat stone. Trellech was once one of the largest
towns in Wales, hence its large church.
is surrounded by wild flower meadows typical of those of the Lower
Wye Valley and is a great place to go looking for wild mushrooms
film above shows some of the magical / spiritual places in the Wye
Valley and Forest of Dean. Beginning with a visit to Arthur's
Stone, a Neolithic burial mound in Dorstone, Herefordshire (not
far from Hay-on-Wye) it then moves on to Trellech to show Harold's
Stones, Tump Turret and the Virtuous Well before moving on
again to the Queen
Stone, the Staunton
Longstone and finally May
Hill. I shot the footage for this latest in the 'Wyenot' series
of short films over the month of May and the first two days of June
other people appear in the film. Dr Keith Ray MBE, the County Archaeologist
talks about Arthur's Stone. Also at Arthur's Stone you may notice
a young lady sitting near the stone. I don't know her name. She
was a nice young lady from near Peterchurch whom I met whilst filming
and have since affectionately named, 'The X-Files Lady' as our conversation
was about UFO sightings at sacred places such as Arthur's Stone
is a beautiful Wye Valley village surrounded by wild flower meadows.
about the village of Trellech can be found on the tree sculpted sundial.
Harold's Stones because legend had it the three of Harold's Chieftains
died at the location in battle, these standing stones actually date
back 3,500 years to the Bronze Age. The three stones are made up
of a type of quartz conglomerate rock known as 'Pudding Stone' and
were dragged to the site on logs, then levered into position, either
for seasonal information or for use at religious ceremonies.
Virtuous Well was once known as 'St. Ann's Well' and was famous
for its cures - particularly those of eye ailments and women's illnesses.
The well was a place of pilgrimage up until as late as the 17th
Century and visitors to this day hang strips of cloth and ribbons
on nearby trees, reflecting a modern belief in the water's healing
well is said to contain water from four springs, three containing
iron and each curing a different illness. Its niches held cups and
offerings and there were stone seats for travellers. The name, 'St.
Anne's Well' derives from Annis, the Celtic Goddess of rivers, water,
wells, magic and wisdom but when Christianized, it become the well
of St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary.
is believed that the water of the Virtuous Well runs under Harold's
Stones and that the well was associated with Druidical rites. Celts
regarded wells as entrances to the supernatural world, inhabited
by gods or guardian spirits. Folklore
says that fairies dance around the well on Midsummer's Eve, and
drink its water from harebell cups the following morning.
Virtuous Well, Trellech.
Turret is a 40 foot mound which dates back to Norman times and is
known to be the remains of a motte and bailey castle which belonged
to the De Clare family. The first reference to a castle in Trellech
was in 1231. The motte, or mound still remains but the bailey is
now under the modern village.
mound may date back to pre Roman times and according to legend it
is the burial ground of King Harold's men, who were slain in battle
at Trellech, as well as being the burial place of plague victims.
It is said that a dreadful curse will befall anybody disturbing
the mound but this did not stop the Rumsey family building a summer
house on top during the 19th Century.
Turret dates back to Norman times and was also possibly the site of
a castle, erected during the reign of Henry 1.