The origin of the holy wells in Penwith is not clear. Most are associated with early Celtic saints and have probably been used for over a thousand years. Many of these wells have been used continuously for healing, divination and for fertility purposes, a testimony to their power, attraction and efficacy. An age-old custom is to tie a piece of cloth (known as a cloutie) to a nearby tree. Traditionally this is a part of cloth that had been worn close to the skin of a person’s ailment or malady. As the cloth rotted away, the illness would disappear and the person would recover their full health.