Well Hopper

Exploring the ancient holy wells and healing wells of North Wales

Ffynnon Barris, Hope

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Ffynnon Barris at Hope is generally known as the Pigeon House Well, being close to Pigeon House Farm.


It merits a mention as Ffynnon Barris in Lhuyd (1699) and in Jones (1954) under the same name. In this it earns a category D status, implying that it is named after a local person or unknown saint. The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic  Monuments (RCAHM) Report of 1912  suggests that Barris may actually be a misprint for Parish.

The location is described in the RCAHM Report, as being seven chains south west along the lane from Pigeon House Farm. So we paced out 154 yards and at that point found in the hedge row a stone block covering a rectangular lined chamber around three feet by two feet. The water level inside was about 18 inches down from the from the top, although we were unable to determine the water depth.


I have not been able to discover any legends concerning the well, nor any indication that it may have been used for healing or ceremonial purposes. It may be that it was just a local water source, although clearly, from its appearance in the records, of some local importance.

Ffynnon Gyngar – Hope

The parish church of Hope is dedicated to St Cyngar. A well, Ffynnon Gyngar, dedictaed to him is recorded by Lhuyd in 1698 as being “within a field of the church” The well, recorded on the early OS Maps of the area,  is recorded as having been filled in 1880. [1]

Little believable is reported concerning the life of Cyngar. Early histories have him related to Queens of Constantinople, however, Baring-Gould and Fisher conclude that he was most likely a Cornish saint, who moved into Wales fleeing Saxon riads in south west England. It is suggested he was uncle to St Cybi, who he travelled with first to Ireland and later to Caernarfonshire and Anglesey.  Llangefni church is dedicated to him and there is an island (at high tides) named Ynys Cyngar  at Porthmadog.  There is nothing in the accounts of his travels to relate him to Hope, and it is unclear how he happens to have a well dedicated here. There is another well dedicated to him in Cornwall. [2]

Hast thyou heard the saying of S Cyngar
To those who derided him?
“Anger lasts longer than sorrow.”

The Sayings of the Wise

[1] Medieval and Early Post Medieval Monastic and Ecclesiastical Sites in East and NE Wales. Clwyd Powys Archaelogical Trust. April 2011.

[2] Baring Gould and Fisher – Lives of the British Saints (see references page)

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