Borderlands: New Photographs and Old Tales of Sacred Springs, Holy Wells and Spas of the Wales / En (BOK)
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The border country between Wales and England is a fertile place in many senses. Settled for millennia, one of the few links we have with early man here are their surviving pagan, pre-Christian wells. Sacred wells have played an important part in the culture and landscape of the region, and continue to do so. Following his books on wells in Wales and Cornwall, Phil Cope journeys up and down the borderlands, and through history from pre-Christian times through Roman and early Christian times, the medieval Age of the Princes in Wales and on to Victorian and the contemporary period. His discoveries are recorded in striking and atmospheric photographs which are accompanied by the remarkable histories of the wells, and the legends attached to them. Wronged suitors, magic horses, Dark Age battles, the reign of King Arthur, and innumerable decapitations feature among the vividly magical tales. Alongside them rests a different kind of magic in the healing wells of the Christian saints, some of which are also sources of prophecy. As the centuries past healing mutated into health and the development of the spa, until, in the twentieth century a full circle was turned and wells once again acquired a pagan significance. Richly illustrated in colour throughout the wells from Cheshire to Monmouthshire, from the Dee to the Severn are here displayed in all their glory, be they in remote countryside or city centre.