St. Helen’s Well, Thorpe Hesley, South Yorkshire

Holy Well (lost): OS Grid Reference – SD 370 960

Archaeology & History

In Rob Wilson’s (1991) study on the saints and wells of South Yorkshire, he mentions this site which, it would seem, may have been lost to history.  In Wilson’s site-entry for the St. Helen’s Well at nearby Barnburgh, he tells that,

“There may have been other wells in South Yorkshire dedicated to St. Helen… Two 18th century surveys by William Fairbank list St. Helen’s Fieldin Thorpe Hesley and St. Ellen’s Field in Wentworth.”

Around ten different wells are highlighted in the village itself on the first Ordnance Survey map of the area, with a number of others scattered in the surrounding fields.  Any one of these may be the well in question.  Much of the region was badly disfigured by the Industrialists in their usual desecration of the landscape, which may make any recovery of this site impossible.  However, a foray into the whereabouts of William Fairbank’s survey could be worthwhile — and if St. Helen’s Field is one that remained untouched by local mining, the site could be recovered from its present “lost” status.

(Please note: the grid-reference cited above is an approximation until further data allows us to correct it.)

References:

  1. Wilson, Rob, Holy Wells and Spas of South Yorkshire, Northern Arts: Sheffield 1991.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

St Helen's Well

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St Helen\'s Well 53.461983, -1.433086 St Helen\'s Well