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Roseberry Topping

Sacred Hill


BETWEEN the towns of Aten and Newton, near the foot of Rosberrye Toppinge, there is a well dedicated to St. Oswald. The neighbours have an opinion, that a shirt, or shift, taken off a sick person, and thrown into that well, will shew whether the person will recover, or die: for if it floated, it denoted the recovery of the party; if it sunk, there remained no hope of their life: and, to reward the Saint for his intelligence, they tear off a rag of the shirt, and leave it hanging on the briars thereabouts; 'where,' says the writer, 'I have seen such numbers, as might have 'made a fayre rheme in a paper myll.' These wells, called Rag-wells, were formerly not uncommon.
From p54 of A provincial glossary: with a collection of local proverbs, and popular superstitions. Francis Grose (1790). Online at Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th February 2007ce
Edited 20th March 2007ce

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