Welcome to the personal website of Michael Gorey. I'm a Bundaberg-based communications professional interested in photography, reading, history, politics and travel.
I was intrigued to read in the guide book the village has a well that's associated with an ancient tradition of curing epilepsy.
St Tecla's Well is a few hundred metres from the church of that name. It's believed St Tecla was a Welsh princess named Tegla Forwyn ("Thecla the Virgin").
I immediately deduced the well was pagan in origin and must have been adopted by early Christians who wished to retain their customs.
The early church was pragmatic about accommodating this and, no doubt, it helped to convert superstitious people.
This website says the most recent "cure" was in 1813 when the church sexton's son was relieved of his epilepsy.
Those hoping for a cure had to follow this ritual:
The 19th century church apparently discouraged this custom and the well became overgrown and almost forgotten.
It's been revived in recent times for its historical curiosity, and when I visited there were ribbons tied to a nearby tree, suggesting it's still a shrine for believers.
This off-the-beaten-track discovery was one of many highlights of my journey along the Wales-England border.
Llandegla has a population of about 600. It's on one of the main drovers' roads from the north-west coast of Wales to the markets of England, and the cattle trade was central to its economy.