Healing Well: OS Grid Reference – SD 95447 29403
Take the Heptonstall road up from Hebden Bridge, going round the village (not into it) and head through Slack and onto Colden. Just as the road begins to go downhill to Colden, note the small single-track road on your right called Edge Road. Go on here for a good mile until it becomes a dirt-track and there, on your left, is the half-run-down old farmhouse called New Edge. Just yards past it, off to the right by the trackside, you’ll see this large copper-coloured stone basin oozing with the same-coloured liquid.
Archaeology & History
This is one of what Thomas Short (1724) called “the ten thousand chalybeats”, or iron-bearing springs, inhabiting the Yorkshire uplands — but he didn’t include this site in his huge survey. But it’s a beauty amongst chalybeates, as a visit here clearly shows! The well is one of two found on either side of the old building known as New Edge (as contrasted with Old Edge, a little further along the lane), and its waters trickle gently from the old stone trough.
The waters are undoubtedly enriched with large amounts of iron, as the photo here shows, giving the waters clear medicinal value. In tasting them, not only do the waters give you that copper-coloured hue, but you can clearly taste the minerals in the water. As with other iron-bearing springs, the water from the New Edge spring is good for the blood, good for anæmia, loss of energy and a low immune system.
- Short, Thomas, The Natural, Experimental and Medicinal History of the Mineral Waters of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, privately printed: London 1734.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian