Fairy Well, Liversedge, West Yorkshire

Sacred Well:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1977 2309

Getting Here

Fairy Well’s boggy ground

Best approached from Heckmondwike/Liversedge and going up Roberttown Road where, just past the Spen Valley High School parking spot, an almost dead straight footpath takes you down (northwest) into the woods.  Walk down here for about 100 yards and then go left over the stile into the small copse of trees.  Once you come out the trees at the other side, walk up the slope in the field that you’re now in.  As you approach the line of trees at the top, you’ll notice the ground gets very boggy.  Look carefully under the trees and you’ll notice an embedded flat stone protruding out and a somewhat trivial trickle of water into the grass at the front.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Site on the 1854 OS-map

Highlighted on the 1854 Ordnance survey map of the area, this is a somewhat ruinous site which has seen better days.  Even after good downpours it’s not very obvious and, in truth, could do with being cleaned-up, cleared out, and brought back into the old life it once had.  If you look carefully beneath the roots of the covering tree, you’ll notice a  decent-sized flat worked stone sticking out at the bottom of the sycamore and below this, at the back, almost covered in earth, you can make out some brick walling at the rear.  It takes some finding!  This is evidently the remains of a small protective well-house, now in total ruin.

Old cover of the well

When we visited the place a few weeks ago, there seemed to be no water inside.  Instead, the water emerges into a small bog just below the tree-line a few yards away from the covering slab from whence it originally flowed.

Folklore

Obviously the abode of fairy folk in bygone days, all trace of the folklore and habits of them seems to have been lost long ago….

AcknowledgementsHuge thanks to mi old mate Gary Ferner for helping us uncover the source of the waters, which was almost completely covered in soil.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian


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