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In this location, there is a source of both myth and inspiration, as observed in the diary entry by Sara Hudston.
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In this location, there is a source of both myth and inspiration, as observed in the diary entry by Sara Hudston.


The Isters’ Fountain, located on the moist and untamed rain-coast of Exmoor, maintains its greenery all year round. Despite it being the end of winter and the sycamore trees being bare, the area is still adorned with vibrant shades of lime and emerald. Lush moss covers rocks, roots, and tree trunks, adding a glossy texture. Elegant, hanging fronds of hart’s-tongue fern decorate the walls.

The fountain is actually a spring that has a protective structure built over it. Water flows out of the hill and collects in a marble basin, which is now full of sediment and hidden beneath broken stones. A small area of the basin remains visible, thanks to the continuous flow of water that has kept it clean. It appears bright white and has a smooth texture, resembling the flesh of a coconut.

‘Only a small piece of white marble remains clear, swept clean by the bubbling flow.’

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The design, featuring a stone cross, appears to have been inspired by medieval architecture, although it was actually constructed in the early 19th century. It is located on the estate of an opulent residence, built by Rev WS Halliday, who inherited a fortune that included profits from the use of enslaved labor in Jamaica. Although Halliday gave the fountain the names of his two nieces, its visual resemblance to a religious monument suggests a connection to an ancient tale about Joseph of Arimathea. Legend has it that Joseph and his nephew Jesus landed on the beach below during their journey to Glastonbury. After a tiring climb, the pair were thirsty and Joseph struck his staff on the ground, causing water to miraculously spring forth.

It is speculated that Jesus may have visited Exmoor twice. In 1958, a London taxi driver named George King asserted that he saw Christ on a windy portion of moorland located west of Combe Martin. King went on to establish the Aetherius Society, which was centered around beliefs in UFOs and the new age movement. The society’s members continue to gather at Holdstone Down in Devon, with their next gathering planned for July 27th of this year.

This landscape is famed for inspiring the imagination. It was in a remote farmhouse a little east of Sisters’ Fountain that Samuel Taylor Coleridge fell into an opium-induced reverie and composed Kubla Khan, whose ancient forests and “sunny spots of greenery” echo the local topography.

The seaside route weaves its way through these various accounts. As you wander past Sisters’ Fountain, you can ponder whose footsteps you may be following.

Source: theguardian.com