The Northern Antiquarian Forum

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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!

2 posters



    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 66
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!


    Post  Sunbright57 Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:37 pm

    Os grid reference SD.607319. Marsden Well is located in Marsden woods close to the eastern bank of the River Ribble 1 mile north of Samlesbury. It can be reached on a footpath going some 500 yards due west from Marsden House Farm.

    The well is a square-shaped stone structure 12 feet long by 5 feet wide and 5 foot deep. There are five steps descending down into the water. Most of the time the well is partly full of water, indeed it is never known to dry up even when long dry spells of weather take place.

    It was a preChristian spring originally, but in the 13th-14th centuries it was built in to the structure that is there today; it has seen some restoration over recent centuries, however. It probably came in to its own in the Saxon age when baptisms were performed here and local folk received into the faith by wandering Anglo-Saxon missionaries. It has been called a 'dipping well' meaning the body is immersed in the water in order to receive some sort of miraculous cure.

    Marsden well was, for centuries, adopted by the local Roman Catholic community rather like its near neighbour Lady Well at Fernyhalgh. However, there does not seem to have been a religious dedication here at Marsden well. Today, the well is largerly forgotten and becoming overgrown with foliage. Rather a shame really. Today Lady Well at nearby Fernyhalgh is a pilgrimage centre that is held in high regard with the holy well and its statue of Mary and Jesus well cared for.

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 74
    Location : CLITHEROE


    Post  lowergate Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:10 am

    Marsden or Priest's Well, SD 607 319

    I enjoyed your notes here, ancient wells are often overlooked.

    The well is recorded in Henry Taylor 'The Ancient Crosses & Holy Wells of Lancashire' (Volume 3, Blackburn Hundred) a revised and extended work. 2004 by North West Catholic History Society.

    All the volumes have now been completed and are available from: NWCHS, 11 Tower Hill, Ormskirk, L39 2EE.


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