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Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall, Vol. 2, by William Bottrell, [1873], at

p. 199

An Excursion to Chapel Uny Well, With A Legend of the Changeling of Brea Vean.

These, when a child haps to be got,
That after proves an idiot,
  When folks perceive it thriveth not,
The fault therein to smother,
Some silly, doating, brainless calf,
That understands things by the half,
Says that the fairy left this aulf,
  And took away the other.

THOUGH the numerous visitors who resort to Penzance in autumn are rarely satiated with our fine cliff scenery, they might, with pleasure, vary their excursions by a ramble inland, where various objects of interest are found on moorlands and hills, but seldom visited.

A pleasant day, for example, might be passed by first going to Sancreed; where, in the quiet, neat, little, embowerd Church some curiously carved portions of an ancient rood-screen are worthy of notice. In the churchyard there is one of the finest crosses in the county; it is about eight feet high and ornamented with various emblematic devices, among others, the filly of the Blessed Virgin. The old Inn, with its quaint sign "The Bird in Hand," suggestive of ready payment, was worthy of a glance, a few years ago, when some nondescript fowl of the air, trying to escape from a hand that grasped its legs, was pourtrayed on the sign-board in flaming colours by a local artist, and, underneath the captive bird, were the lines,—

"A bird in hand is better fare
 Than two that in the bushes are."

From the south-eastern side of "Sancras Bickan" (Beacon) a delightful view of Mount's Bay is obtained, and on Caer Brane—commonly called Brane Rings—the next hill towards the west, may be seen the remains of an old and extensive hill-castle.

p. 200

Hence, one might descend to the famous Chapel Uny Well, situated between Chapel Carn Brea and Bartine hills; the one crowned with its ruined chapel and the other with a castle. At Chapel Uny will be found a copious spring of as clear water as was ever seen. The only remains that can be identified, as having belonged to its ancient chapel, are a few dressed stones near the well. These, from their shape, would seem to have formed part of an arched door or window.

Near by there is also a large circular Fogou, or artificial cavern, walled on both sides and partly covered with long slabs of moor-stone. The Holy Well is, however, the most celebrated object in this vicinity; a few years ago, it was resorted to on the first three Wednesdays in May by scores of persons who had great faith in the virtue of its waters, which were considered very efficacious for curing most diseases incidental to childhood, and many ricketty babes are still bathed there at the stated times when the spring is believed to possess the most healing powers.

Belonging to this well and its neighbourhood there is a somewhat curious story, which we will relate just as it has often been told us by old people of the West Country.

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