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Pin Well / King's Chair

Sacred Well


Resort to the Fairy Well is still a favourite pastime in holiday times with young people at Wooler. They express a secret wish and drop in a crooked pin. Hence it is also called the Pin and Wishing Well. The well is situated in a narrow hollow among the lower Cheviots which rise above the town, and is formed out of a natural spring of pure and very cool water originating among rocks at the base of a high platform, which has been occupied in the olden time by a British camp, now known as the Maiden Camp (the Maiden Castle of Wallis). From its connection with the camp, or in compliment to the spirit of the spring, its genuine name is said to be the "Maiden Well." It is drained into an open ditch and is at present too shallow to admit of children being dipped into it. Nor do I know that this has ever been practised here, but the old inhabitant who communicated some of this information was familiar with the formula incidental to such applications for healing purposes at sacred springs. The applicant having cried "Hey, how!" dipped in the weakly child, and before departure left a piece of bread and cheese as an offering.

[...] Mr. George Tate, in a notice of the Wooler Pin Well, mentions having heard that a procession was formed to visit the well on the morning of Mayday. This may have been so, but on inquiry I could not find any tradition of such a circumstance.
From v2 of the Folklore Society's publishing of the Denham Tracts (1895).
Maiden Camp must surely be The Kettles?
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
31st January 2010ce
Edited 31st January 2010ce

Comments (1)

That has to be the Kettles. I've never heard of it being called Maiden Camp before, interesting.

I'm also quite taken with the idea of a woolspin from the top of the chair. Roll on warmer weather :)
Hob Posted by Hob
31st January 2010ce
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