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

St. Catherine's Well

Sacred Well


St. Catherine’s Well
AKA The Oily Well or The Balm Well
In the grounds of what is now The Balm Well restaurant lies this healing and Holy Well. Just over from the beer garden a red gravel path lined with stones (many of which have fallen on the path) leads down top the barred and grilled entrance of the well. The well itself is housed under a lintel dated 1563 (although this is thought not to be connected with the original well-house). The gate is about 1m high, whilst the stone frontage to the well-house rises to just over 2m. The thick oil shale for which this well is famous and gained it’s healing properties coats the entire well chamber interior along with the gate. As late as 1910 the water from this well was used as a cure for eczema. The stone work of the well-house only goes back about 1m or so, then the back of the well-chamber is housed under a grassy mound approx 0.5m high by about 4.5m in diameter.
Posted by Martin
17th July 2002ce

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