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Sacred Well

This site is of disputed antiquity. If you have any information that could help clarify this site's authenticity, please post below or leave a post in the forum.
Also known as:
  • Lockswell
  • Lockswell Spring

Nearest Town:Chippenham (5km WNW)
OS Ref (GB):   ST95296985 / Sheet: 173
Latitude:51° 25' 37.55" N
Longitude:   2° 4' 3.91" W

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" Pure fount, that, welling from this wooded hill,
Dost wander forth, as into life's wide vale,
Thou to the traveller dost tell no tale
Of other years; a lone, unnoticed rill,
In thy forsaken tract, unheard of men,
Making thy own sweet music through the glen.
Time was when other sounds, and songs arose;
When o'er the pensive scene, at evening's close,
The distant bell was heard; or the full chant
At morn came sounding high and jubilant,
Or, stealing on the wildered pilgrim's way,
The moon light Miserere died away,
Like all things earthly—
Stranger, mark the spot—
No echoes of the chiding world intrude—
The structure rose, and vanish'd—solitude
Possess'd the woods again—old Time forgot,
Passing to wider spoil, its place and name,
Since then, ev'n as the clouds of yesterday,
Seven hundred years have well nigh pasa'd away:
No wreck remains of all its early pride,
Like its own orisons its fame has died.
But this pure fount, thro' rolling years the same,
Yet lifts its small still voice, like penitence,
Or lowly prayer. Then pass, admonish'd, hence,
Happy, thrice happy, if thro' good or ill,
Christian, thy heart respond to this forsaken rill,"
W.L.Bowles 1828
Chance Posted by Chance
21st August 2012ce


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Loxwell Abbey

Details of spring on Pastscape

A Cistercian Abbey was founded at Loxwell in 1151 as a daughterhouse of Quarr, but was moved to Stanley, (ST97SE2) in 1154. There are no visible remains, but Loxwell Farm is reputed to stand on the site of the abbey.

(ST 95296985) Loxwell Farm on site of (TI) Loxwell Abbey (GT) (Cistercian, founded AD 1151) (TI) (1)
A Cistercian Abbey was founded at Lockswell, 1151 but was moved to Stanley in 1154 (See ST 97 SE 2). Though there is no contemporary evidence for buildings of any consequence at Loxwell, the site of the earlier Abbey was claimed as found by Bowles.

Early records indicate a copious water-supply at the first site and there is a substantial spring flowing from 'beneath' the foundations of the farmhouse which Bowles claims stood on the site of the early building. This spring was later conveyed by a stone conduit to the new site at Stanley, in 1241. No traces are visible but its course is discovered from time to time. (2-4)
The present buildings are of 18th - 19th c. date with no visible evidence of any antiquity. (5)

( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6", 1961
( 2) General reference History of Bremhill, 1828, 90, (W.L.Bowles)
( 3) General reference History of Chipenham, 1894, 48-9, (J.J. Daniell)
( 4) by David Knowles and R Neville Hadcock 1953 Medieval religious houses : England and Wales Page(s)111
( 5) Field Investigators Comments F1 ANK 02-JUL-68
(6) by David Knowles and R Neville Hadcock 1971 Medieval religious houses in England and Wales Page(s)122
Chance Posted by Chance
21st August 2012ce


The Empress Maud granted to her Chamberlain, Drogo, certain land in Pewsham Forest. Drogo transferred the benefaction to a Cistercian brotherhood. On a hill in the Forest, a part of Drogo's gift, was a spring of the purest water, called "Lockswell," and the abbey which the monks built, bore the name of the " Abbey of Drogo's Fount," or " Drownfont." The water from this spring has flowed from time unknown, in a never failing, never varying volume of 150 gallons a minute.

" It is a magnificent spring, rising on the very top of the hill, which is on all sides surrounded with wild and romantic scenery. It appears in the spot in which it bursts, nearly three feet broad, singular and beautiful, rushing into day, and then winding its precipitous and solitary way till it ia lost among the wildest glades of the ancient forest of Chippenham ; once famous and hallowed, it has flowed for centuries through the wild bourne."


History of Chipenham, 1894, 48-9, (J.J. Daniell)
Chance Posted by Chance
21st August 2012ce
Edited 21st August 2012ce