The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Holy Well

Sacred Well


Visited 6th May 2012

After visiting the Wizards Well (if you’re at Alderley Edge you have to really don’t you?) we walked in the opposite direction to come to the Holy Well. As we were there we saw a gentleman placing a leaf into a crack in the rock to allow the water to run off into the carved stone trough below. He explained he was the site guardian, who came every day to check on the place and put a leaf into the crevice so the water could flow. A friendly and interesting guy he explained that he had inherited the task from an old local woman who was now too elderly and infirm to continue doing it. He was also able to direct us to some of the other sites around the edge.

Next to the flow of water of the Holy Well a small cave has been carved out of the rock, with clear toolmarks visible inside. So whilst not ancient the cave has certainly been in existence for several hundred years. It seems possible that it was carved out as a meditative space, as it seems like a lot of effort to go to in order to make a shelter, when plenty of natural caves and mineworkings dot the edge. A tree atop the outcrop looked as if it had the simulacrum of a face at the base of its trunk, and the woodland setting around the area adds to the magical atmosphere. You can see why Alderley Edge has proved an inspiration for a series of books.

I hunker into the cave for a while, and it does retain a calm and peaceful atmosphere here, away from the crowds of people who are visiting some of the more popular parts of the edge. The water that bubbles up through the stone is drinkable (so long as you take it from the source and not the somewhat stagnant water trough!) and cupping my hands beneath the leaf I take a swig of the fresh and slightly coppery water.

Although not an ancient site as such, the water must have risen through this limestone outcrop for thousands of years, and as such must have been a special place in the area for the ancestors. Now it’s one of the nicest spots on Alderley Edge and well worth a visit (ho ho!)
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
9th May 2012ce

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