Sites of Well Myths and Legends

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.

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.

Warty Dragon

Location: Longwitton (Northumberland) - Three wells near village
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This wyrm is said to have found the water from the wells so refreshing he set up home here. The creature was described as having a black tongue, long tail, warty skin, and very sharp claws. It was finally killed by Sir Guy of Warwick.

Vicious Little Folk

Location: Ludgvan (Cornwall) - Well
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The well in the village is reported to be protected by violent fairies, which are also capable of summoning storms.

Healing Well

Location: Madron (Cornwall) - Well (or spring) of St Madron
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The holy well here is said to have cured the injured and diseased. Dropping pins or pebbles into the water and counting the bubbles which rose enabled time-based divination questions to be answered (one bubble equated to one year). Another legend associated with the location is that of King Arthur, who was told that the waters would burn a man who was not pure of heart. Arthur placed his hand in the water and pulled it out unscathed, but when Mordred tried, his hand was scalded.

Blazing Eyed Dog

Location: Malahide (County Dublin) - Feltrim Hill
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large black hound with burning red eyes was said to lurk in this area. A phantom grey horse is also reported, as is an old woman laden down with a bundle of faggots, drifting towards the Holy Well.


Location: Melsonby (Yorkshire) - Berry Well (may no longer exist)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This well was haunted by a ghostly entity which had taken the form of a white goose.

Female Form

Location: Melsonby (Yorkshire) - Ladywell (aka Lady Well)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The area around here is haunted by a headless woman, whose history is unknown.

Headless Woman

Location: Melsonby (Yorkshire) - Lanes and church close to Lady Well (likely no longer present)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa nineteenth century?
Further Comments: A local myth said the well close to the churchyard was haunted by a headless white lady.

The Rag Well

Location: Munlochy (Highland) - St Boniface's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Rags are tied around the well to transfer ill health and bad luck away from the visitor and into the healing waters.

Wishing Well

Location: Newcastle (Gwent) - Well and springs
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This wishing well was used by throwing pins into it, while the waters of the spring would be used to cure joint pain and inflammation.


Location: Oswestry (Shropshire) - King Oswald's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: This spring was created when the severed arm of King Oswald of Northumberland hit the ground, dropped by an eagle who had taken it from a battlefield. The nearby hillfort was once thought to have belonged to Guinevere's father, though this is now discounted.


Location: Oundle (Northamptonshire) - Drumming Well, Drumming Well Lane
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Prior to historical event
Further Comments: This mysterious loud drumming sound has been heard emanating from the well, a prelude to days that shall go down in history - it is documented the beating was heard during the Great Fire of London, the death of Charles II, and the death of Cromwell. The well is currently covered.

White Horse Upright

Location: Oxwich (West Glamorgan) - Churchyard
Type: Other
Date / Time: Early nineteenth century
Further Comments: This ghostly creature walks around on hind legs, ending the jaunt as it vanishes down an ancient well.

Protected Stone

Location: Pelynt (Cornwall) - St Nun's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: A farmer once tried to steal this stone to use on his farm - halfway home with his booty, the chains used to drag the stone snapped, allowing the rock to roll back to its starting location. To further prove a point, the oxen used to move the stone all suddenly died, and the thieving farmer was crippled.

Wet Man

Location: Phillack (Cornwall) - Buck of Blood inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This building is said to be haunted by a monk and a man dressed in wet ripped clothes. The latter ghost's body is said to have been discovered in a well on the site.

Strange Figures

Location: Portaferry (County Down) - Cooley Wells
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s / 2000s
Further Comments: Several reports of phantom voices and visions of ghostly figures exist based around the area of this set of ancient wells.


Location: Portree (Highland) - Prince Charles's Well, road between Portree and Uig
Type: Manifestation of the Living
Date / Time: 15 April 1746
Further Comments: The day before his defeat at Culloden, the shade of Prince Charles was seen by the well, crying 'defeated'.

Red Water

Location: Powerstock (Dorset) - Well
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The water in a well within the village is said to occasionally turn red. A local legend says this is because a husband discovered his wife's infidelity, and pushed her into the well (the red is explained as either her blood or the colour of her clothing).

Length of Life

Location: Raphoe (County Donegal) - Well (no longer present)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Pre 1911
Further Comments: This well was said to inform people how much longer they had to live. If someone looked into it and the water bubbled and overflowed, they had a long life ahead of them. However, if the water level sank lower, then the end was nigh.

Drifting Monk

Location: Roche (Yorkshire) - Roche Abbey
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: This hooded spook has been seen slowly moving around the ruins of this once proud abbey, as has the shade of a grey lady. The site is also home to a wishing well.


Location: Rockfield (Gwent) - St Michael's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It is said that the red stones of this well are stained with the Saint's blood.

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