St. Helen’s Well, Colne, Lancashire

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – SD 890 397

Getting Here

This site can be reached with relative ease from Colne’s train station by crossing the road and going up Bridge Street, turning immediately left along Shaw Street for several hundred yards until you reach Waterside Road on your left-hand side.  From here, as Mr Tom Sharples told, “St. Helen’s Well is presently within the area of overgrown and unmanaged scrub woodland adjacent to Waterside Road.”  Look around!

Archaeology & History

First described on the Megalithic Portal by the pseudonymous Brionnfhionn, this recently rediscovered holy well can be found on the southern side of Colne, at Waterside.  A few months after the MegPortal announcement, a more detailed overview of the site was published on GoogleDocs, from where Mr Tom Sharples has kindly allowed us to repeat the information that both he and Susan Bryant-Lauder compiled there.

The site was relocated after reference had been found in Geoff Crambie’s (1978) A Colne Festival, where he wrote:

“1935 saw the end of St. Helen’s Mill in Waterside.  Built by Nicholas England in 1835, it was named after the St. Helen’s Well nearby, which was reputed to have been named by the Romans.”

The local writer Dorothy Harrison (1988) also mentioned the site, though only in passing, when she told,

“Along with St. Helen’s Well, Buck Spout provided the main source of drinking water in Waterside.”

There has to be some more information about this little-known site hidden in some old Lancastrian history or folklore work, somewhere – surely!?


  1. Crambie, Geoff, A Colne Festival, Turner & Earnshaw: 1978.
  2. Harrison, Dorothy (ed.), The History of Colne, Pendle Heritage Centre 1988.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian