Sites of Well Myths and Legends

 
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.


 
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.


 
Wine

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.


 
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.


 
Goose

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.


 
Gifts

Location: Minch Moor (Borders) - Cheese Well
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Well still present
Further Comments: The well took its name from the cheese which travellers would leave for the resident fairies.


 
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.


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