Claymore Well, Kettleness, North Yorkshire

Sacred Well:  OS Grid Reference – NZ 819 148


In this region so full of old tombs and prehistoric remains, we find this little-known sacred well, long since known as a place of curious sprites and strange lore.  Elizabeth Wright (1913) said of the place,

“It is said that the fairies were wont of old to wash their clothes in Claymore Well, and mangle them with the bittle and pin.  The bittle is a heavy wooden battledore; the pin is the roller; the linen is wound round the latter, and then reolled backwards and forwards on the table by pressure on the battledore.  The strokes of the bittles on fairy washing-nights could be heard a mile away.”

A most curious tale…


  1. Wright, Elizabeth Mary, Rustic Speech and Folk-lore, Oxford University Press 1913.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *