A retired lecturer from the Isle of Wight has plunged head first into the world of paganism to produce a fascinating insight into some of Britain’s forgotten holy sites.
Robin Melrose has spent almost 5 years researching the connections between pre-historic places of water god worship and more modern Christian shrines. The 71-year-old’s painstaking work has resulted in an authoritative book, ‘From Sacred Waters and Pagan Goddesses to Holy Wells’.
Robin has said:
“For some time I have been fascinated by the importance of water in prehistoric religion in Britain and across Europe.
“I became fascinated by medieval saints, and I eventually became aware that medieval saints are often associated with holy wells.
“In From Sacred Waters and Pagan Goddesses to Holy Wells I want to show the link between prehistoric water cults and later holy wells, especially in watery places like the Somerset Levels and the Cambridgeshire Fens.”
Robin lectured in both English literature and linguistics before retiring and devoting his time to research and writing. His first book, ‘Religion in Britain from the Megaliths to Arthur’, earned critical acclaim and his follow-up, ‘From Sacred Waters and Pagan Goddesses to Holy Wells’, is also stirring academic interest.
Robin’s fascination with the pagan religion was first sparked by visits to Stonehenge…
“I’ve been fascinated by prehistoric religion since I became interested in Stonehenge after I retired.
“I’ve been aware of Glastonbury Abbey and prehistoric religion in the Somerset Levels for some time, but I didn’t realise how wet the Somerset Levels were until the winter floods of 2013-14.
“That made me think of how important it must have been to appease the water gods in prehistoric time, and that this must be part of the attraction that holy wells still hold for many people.
“Although prehistoric paganism is long gone, and even the cult of the saints is a dim memory, they still have much to teach us today.”
Since the release of From Sacred Waters and Pagan Goddesses to Holy Wells by PublishNation earlier this year it has reached number 2 in Amazon’s spirituality charts.
The book is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sacred-Waters-Pagan-Goddesses-Wells/dp/1326803662.