Sites of Well Myths and Legends

Mad Monk

Location: Haldon (aka Haldon Hills) (Devon) - Lidwell Chapel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The monk would kill and rob passing travellers, throwing their bodies down a nearby well. A sailor who had stopped to rest for the night discovered what the monk was up to. He threw the evil cleric down the same well to hold him until the authorities turned up. The monk is still heard trying to escape.


Location: Harpham (Yorkshire) - Area of the church
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to a death in the St Quinton family
Further Comments: Tom Hewson was killed by a member of the St Quinton's in the 1300s - ever since then he can be heard beating his drum prior to a death in the family. Some report that the drumming emanates from a well.

Pedlar in the Well

Location: Hayfield (Derbyshire) - Highgate Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A peddler who was murdered and whose body was hidden in a well at the hall was not impressed - his ghost came back and haunted the location to such an extent many refused to go near the hall after dark. The haunting ceased after the well was sealed.

Headless Jenny

Location: Hibaldstow (Lincolnshire) - Jenny Stanny Well (current condition not known)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Jenny Stannywell drowned in the waters of this well and now wanders the area holding her head under her arm.


Location: Hillcombe (Dorset) - Well in the village
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This well is said to contain a table made either of silver or gold that no one has yet managed to recover.


Location: Holystone (Northumberland) - Well of St Ninian
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Pins would be left here, although it is not clear whether they were for wishes or healing purposes.

Healing Waters

Location: Holywell (Clwyd) - St Winefride's Well (aka well of St Winifred)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: This well sprung up where St Winefride's severed head hit the ground after she was decapitated by an angry local. Luckily, St Beuno was passing by; he picked the head up off the ground and stuck it back on Winefride's shoulders. She soon recovered.

The Holy Well

Location: Holywell (Cambridgeshire) - Churchyard
Type: Other
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The waters of the well were said to cure sore eyes, and teenage girls would throw money into the pool in the hope the face of the man they would marry would appear to them.

Agile Green Folk

Location: Ilkley (Yorkshire) - Area near the well
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: 1815
Further Comments: Described as fast moving little folk in green, the fairies that lived in this area were once found in the single village bath - they scarpered when discovered.

Storm Forecaster

Location: Inveresk (Lothian) - Routing Well (current status not known)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It was said that the well would wail before a storm, although even in the nineteenth century, it was acknowledged that the sound was caused by the wind during a storm, rather than prior to one.

Farm Dog

Location: Ipstones (Staffordshire) - Area around Hermitage Farm, and Indefont Well
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The lane outside of the farm was once the haunt of a phantom black hound. The same dog (or maybe another) also haunted the area around Indefont Well.

Red Witch

Location: Kenidzhek (Cornwall) - Local well
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This figure has been reported standing by the well. She is believed to have terrorised the village many years previous, though it is unknown why she now only loiters by the pool.

Clothes Washing

Location: Kettleness (Yorkshire) - Claymore Well
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Circa 1650
Further Comments: Reports of fairies frequenting this area date from the seventeenth century, with three men and one woman claiming to have stumbled upon the fairies making merry at midnight. One twentieth century author wrote that the little folk washed their clothes at the site, their wooden rollers making so much noise that they could be heard a mile away.

Just Another Wishing Well

Location: Key Heugh (aka Sandy Crag) (Northumberland) - Well (not known if still in existence)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: A well on this site was littered with pins left by visitors who hoped their wishes would be heard.

Waiting for Wil

Location: Kidwelly (Dyfed) - Pistyll Teilo
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A female spirit haunts this area. According to Antony D Hippisley Coxe's Haunted Britain, she cries out 'It is long and cold and tiresome to wait for the descendants of Wil Watter'. The waters of the well is also said to have healing powers.


Location: Kinsale (County Cork) - Two Found Out Well (no longer accessible)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 31 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The water in a well close to Kinsale was said to turn into wine on New Year's Eve, but anyone who looked into the water at this time would die. A couple went to see if the legend was true, and the following morning their bodies were found next to the well.

Immortal Fly

Location: Kirkmichael (Moray) - St Michael's Well (no longer present)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The well was said to have magical healing powers and was watched over by St Michael, who took the form of a fly which could never die.

Foretelling War

Location: Langley (Kent) - Well in a unnamed park (may no longer be present)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This well would be full of water during times of peace, but as soon as war broke out, it would dry up until hostilities ceased.

Finger Lickin' Good

Location: Lincoln (Lincolnshire) - Queen Anne's Well, cathedral area
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Well still present
Further Comments: There are six holes in the door to the well. Legend says if you walk around the well seven times and place your finger in one, good people are awarded with feeling the breath of the Devil on their digit, while bad people have their finger bitten off.

Mary Vision

Location: Little Walsingham (Norfolk) - Shrine
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 1061 onwards
Further Comments: Lady Richeldis had a vision of the Virgin Mary who commanded that a replica of her Nazareth house be built. Richeldis constructed the shrine and it became highly popular until its destruction during the Reformation. The Shrine and its healing well are now operational again.

The Demons Below See

Location: Liverpool (Lancashire) - Monk's Well, Wavertree
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present (but a flower bed)
Further Comments: This old well has the words 'Qui non dat quod habet, Daemon infra vide 1414' carved above it. It was said that any traveller passing would have no choice but to drink the waters and give a donation to charity, otherwise the Devil (chained under the well) would laugh.

Brother or Sister

Location: Liverpool (Lancashire) - Well in Everton area, but covered over pre 1859
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre 1850s
Further Comments: The site of a fratricide, the well was at one point considered haunted by the dead sibling before being covered over.

Epilepsy Cure

Location: Llandegla (Clwyd) - St Tecla's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Well still present
Further Comments: This well was said to cure epilepsy by washing in its waters after sunset, making an offering of fourpence, walking around the well while reciting the Lord's Prayer, and then sleeping under the alter using a bible for a pillow (all while holding a cockerel if a man, or a hen if a woman).

Cursing Well

Location: Llanelian-yn-Rhos (Clwyd) - St Ellian's Well (no longer present)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Late Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Destroyed by the local clergy, the well which once stood here was used to curse one's enemies. The hex could be reversed if the pebble dropped into waters by the giver of the curse could be found and removed from the well.

Healing Eel

Location: Llangybi, near Pwllheli (Gwynedd) - St Cybi's Well
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sick would dangle their feet into the waters of the well, hoping that the touch of the eel would increase their chances of recovery.

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