The Northern Antiquarian Forum

Archaeology, folklore & myth of Britain's pre-christian sites & heritage: stone circles, holy wells, maypoles, tombs, archaic cosmologies and human consciousness. Everyone welcome - even Southerners!



    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 60
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!


    Post  Sunbright57 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:15 pm

    Os grid reference SE.041284. Caty's Well or St Catherine's Well is located on the Pennine moors along Saltonstall Lane, Wainstalls. It is on the roadside opposite The Cati'th Inn close to Caty Woods and near to Caty's Well Bridge - some 3 miles north of Luddenden, west Yorkshire.

    Most probably a preChristian spring that came in to its own during Medieval times when it was dedicated to St Catherine - which over the following centuries was shortened to Caty or Cati and, more particularly in the 16th century when some nuns from the priory of Kirkless over Wakefield way came to live in the area when they were banished at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. They lived at what is now Nunnery Farm just along the road to the west and were said to have restored the well and used it for religious purposes. One of the nuns was actually called Saltonstall so could that be just a coincidence, or did she come from this area and know that the spring was here. We don't know.

    The well or rather pool may have been a mineral spring at one time; it still has water within its stone surround but I don't know whether its mineral content, or for that mater, healing qualities are still evident today as it probably isn't drinkable. Probably better to pop into the pub and have a pint of best bitter, or a glass of sparkling water perhaps !

    On the hillside near the inn stand two stones known as 'The White Stones' perhaps the site of the burial of a chieftain from the Dark Ages, or before that. The stones used to be painted "white" once every year. One local legend even connected the stones with the outlaw Robin Hood.

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