Healing Well: OS Grid Reference – SK 615 489
The spring emerges from under the bridge into the pool
Also Known as:
- Keen Well
In Calverton, take Renals Way off the main street and follow it around until you reach the end and a copse. Take the left hand path. When the footbridge is reached the spring head is encountered.
Archaeology & History
Also known as the Keen Well, fortunately it still survives. It arises between some sandstone blocks forming a small cave where a strong spring flows and fills a small pool with some rough stones around it. The pool does not appear very deep although is it overgrown in parts. A footbridge crosses over the springhead, meaning that one has to peer under it to see the spring. The area surrounding Renals Way and Dark Lane is ear-marked for development and I hope that this spring can survive this stage of its history.
Bob Morrell (1988) in his Holy Wells of Nottinghamshire notes a site (although he does not name it), which was attended by pilgrims near and far, and had the tradition that ‘kings’ after hunting in Sherwood Forest would visit it ‘to quaff the nectar’.
In the well chamber it looks a natural spring
Close view of the spring head
Morrell (1988) fails to state whether it still existed, but the site in question would appear to be the Keen Well. It’s name being possibly derived from King’s Well. According to Mr. Peck of the local history museum, this was supposed to have used by ‘Old Saxon Kings’ to bathe their eyes as a protection against failing sight. One of the medieval kings and his attendants are also reputed to have stopped here whilst travelling to the North.
- R.W. Morrell (1988) Nottinghamshire Holy Wells
- R.B. Parish (2008) Holy wells and healing springs of Nottinghamshire
- Holy & Healing Wells
© R.B. Parish, The Northern Antiquarian
Healing Well: OS Grid Reference – SP 7880 3930
Take the Calverton Road out of Stoney Statford, then take the left hand road to Calverton and look for layby on the right near a copse.
Archaeology & History
Gorrick’s spring is an interesting site and perhaps the best of the county’s holy wells. The water flows from a rather worn lion’s head beneath a stone arch under the steps, and pours into a stone lined chamber repaired with concrete slabs. It is reached by a series of steps from the layby and beside the spring is a narrow and as Rattue (2003) states an uncomfortable seat.
It is unclear where the name comes from but a local legend tells how a witch’s pupil gave the sight back to a Gypsy tinker. A rhyme states in Romance around Stoney Stratford quoted by Rattue (2003):
“When Gorrick’s Spring flows fast and clear,
Stoop down and drink, for health is here,
If Gorrick’s Spring shuld e’er run dry,
Beware, for pestilence is nigh.”
Interestingly it did run dry in 1996 as noted in the local Herald of 8th November 1996:
“It’s a mystery,” confessed Calverton resident Lucinda Lourie. She said she realised water levels were currently low, but older residents of the village remembered the spring running through the drought of 1976. She said one wag at Anglian Water had suggested the source of the spring may have been a burst pipe which the Anglian Water work had cured – unlikely since the spring is reputed to have been used by monks in the 13th century!”
An author named Bartley (1928) mentioned by Rattue (2003) in his Holy Wells of Buckinghamshire notes:
“the monks of old….deemed the delicious waters of this wayside spring as sacred, possessing healing properties for all humans. Daily the holy Friar would hie to the mossy bank and reach the water with his ancient pitcher, and bear it homeward to his suffering flock”
As Rattue (2003) notes it appears unlikely that a friar would have visited the site as there is no record of any religious institutions connected with the site.
Extracted and amended from the below post (which also discusses St Rumbold’s Well)
- James Rattue (2003) Holy Wells of Buckinghamshire