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

Cerne Abbas Giant

Hill Figure


There were curative wells at Cerne; one called Pill Well, now dry, and St. Austin's Well, anciently Silver Well. Hel Well still flowing, in a marshy place covered with trees and brushwood, was not curative. A man now living, named Vincent, aged fifty-five years, had a crippled child. Every morning, for several months together, Vincent carried his child, wrapped in a blanket, to St. Austin's Well, and dipped it into the well, and at last it was cured. Sore eyes are healed by bathing them, and feeble health is restored by drinking. A farmer used to go down to this well every morning and drink a tumblerful of the water. (Jonathan Hardy, aged 65, born at Cerne, and now sexton there.) I have not analysed the water, but can affirm that it is not chalybeate. The spring sometimes "breaks," that is, suddenly begins to flow with increased energy. Its water never freezes.


If anyone looks into St. Austin's Well the first thing on Easter morning he will see the faces of those who will die within the year. (--Miss Gundry.)
St Austin's Well also seems to be called St Augustine's well. But it's interesting that it gets a non-religious name too? The well is just south of the Abbey, which is to the south of the Giant and Trendle hill.
From 'Dorset Folklore Collected in 1897' by H. Colley March, in Folklore v10, Dec 1899.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th April 2013ce
Edited 25th April 2013ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment