Dragon’s Well, Bolsterstone, South Yorkshire

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – SK 2827 9697

Also Known as:

  1. Allman Well

Archaeology & History

Allman or Dragon Well, 1855 map
Allman or Dragon Well on the 1855 map

Also known as the Allman’s Well, an inscription with an 1818 datestone was to be found here. But according to folklorists Dave Clarke & Phil Reeder, the site can no longer be found as its waters were “diverted for use at a nearby farm.” However, something that does need checking is their description of a cup-and-ring stone on one of the boulders close by – reckoned to be one of those dropped by the dragon which gives the well its name.


Something strange was once going on in this locality if place-names and legends have owt to go by. The local Wharncliffe Dragon, as it was known, used to fly from its home at the Dragon’s Den (a mile-and-a-half east of here) and drink the waters from this well. On one of its flights from Wharncliffe Crags, it carried with it three huge boulders which it dropped in transit and which were said by the folklorists David Clarke and Phil Reeder “to stand in a line on the slope below the well at Townend Common.”

The water from here was said to be good for curing both asthma and bronchitis and was also said never to have dried up, even in the greatest of droughts.


  1. Wilson, Rob, Holy Wells and Spas of South Yorkshire, Northern Arts: Sheffield 1991.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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3 thoughts on “Dragon’s Well, Bolsterstone, South Yorkshire”

  1. The well is still to be found, complete with a stone surround, though now (very recently) missing the 1818 date-stone. It is immediately below the ‘Dragon’s Well’ golf tee, on the golf course built on Townend Common. The three boulders are near any other rocks, light grey, of a different character to the rocks above on the ridge; so rather than having rolled down appear to be dumped by glacial action. They are so huge that they have not been cleared. One (which when children we knew as Cowboy Rock) is in the middle of a fairway, and the other two are very near each other on the other side of Common Lane, just by the playing fields at Parsonage Farm. They are not actually in a line with the well, but are not far away from it.
    [And that photo above is of an old piscina (a holy sink for washing communion vessels in Catholic churches) from the chapel at Bolsterstone that existed before both the current one and Bland’s 18th century mill-like carbuncle), and has nothing whatsoever to do with the naming of Bolsterstone.]

  2. Hi Steve – Any chance you could get us a photo of the Dragon Well? We could do with one (or 2) to make the site profile better. Credits and due acknowledgements would be cited to your good self, obviously.

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