Petrifying Well, Guilsborough, Northamptonshire

Sacred Well (lost):  OS Grid Reference – SP 664 733

Archaeology & History

It’s difficult to know precisely which category this site should come under: sacred well or just a healing well.  I’ve opted for ‘sacred’, due to its peculiar and rare properties, i.e., turning things into stone.  For a spring to do such a thing would have been seen by our ancestors as it having some sort of magickal or supernatural ability.  Sadly however, it seems that all trace of this well has long since gone.

It was described only in passing in Peter Hill’s (2005) folklore survey of Northamptonshire, to which he gave no reference. He told us simply,

“Guilsborough had a petrifyiong spring near the Grange, which was ‘good for several diseases.”

None of the early OS-maps of the area show any such ‘well’ immediately in or around Guilsborough’s Grange and so I surmise (perhaps in error) that one of the two ponds to the south of the Grange is fed by the spring in question.  It would be good to know for certain!


  1. Hill, Peter, Folklore of Northamptonshire, Tempus: Stroud 2005.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian


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