Holy Well (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – TQ 332 911
Also Known as:
- My Lady’s Hole
Archaeology & History
Long since gone after drainage operations on Tottenham Cemetery made the waters dry-up, this was one of several holy wells in the Tottenham area. Its history has been described in various old tomes, but the most definitive is found in William Robinson’s (1840) classic on the parish of Tottenham, when the well was still visible. He told us:
“There is a spring which issues from the side of a small hillock on the south side of the Moselle, nearly opposite the Vicarage, leading thence to the Church, called Bishop’s Well. This spring was formerly considered famous for many strange and wonderful cures performed on the diseased by the use of this water. It has been for some years neglected, but of late the owner of the field in which this well is, had it cleansed, and planted some trees round it, and put up posts and rails to prevent the cattle treading down the sides of it. It is said that the water of this well never freezes. In former times this well was in great repute from the purity of its water. The ladies in the vicinity of it were accustomed to send their servants in the morning and evening for water for their tea, from which circumstance it was for many years known by the name of “My Lady’s Hole.” The water of this well is not only esteemed for its medicinal qualities, but particularly for curing disorders of the eye.
“There were formerly many other springs about the village, especially one which issued out of the hill on which the Church stands; and another in Spottons Wood otherwise Spottons Grove, on the north side of Lordship Lane, which in the fifteenth century was of considerable notoriety; but none of which have in former times been so much frequented and held in such repute as Bishop’s Well.”
(Please note: the grid-reference for this site is an approximation)
- Foord, Alfred Stanley, Springs, Streams and Spas of London: History and Association, T. Fisher Unwin: London 1910.
- Hope, Robert Charles, Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England, Elliott Stock: London 1893.
- Robinson, William, The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Tottenham, Nichols & Sons: London 1840.
- Sunderland, Septimus, Old London Spas, Baths and Wells, John Bale: London 1915.
- Thornbury, Walter & Walford, Edward, Old and New London – volume 5, Cassell: London 1878.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian