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 Post subject: A Holy Well or not a Holy Well?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:46 pm 
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I have a burgeoning list of wells that may or may not be holy. Any thoughts would be appreciated:

Devon - Draw Well at Cockington
Gloucestershire - Norman Well at Stow-on-the-Wold
Jersey - Wishing Well at Ye Olde Jersey House
Northumberland - Spa Well at Hayden Bridge
Cornwall - Cores Well at Fowey

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 Post subject: Re: A Holy Well or not a Holy Well?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:47 pm 
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With regard to

Spa well at Haydon Bridge

This is a cold, sulphurous spring, that surfaces virtually at the side of the River South Tyne.
No evidence that I could see for votive offerings, no clooties....
It has a reputation locally as cure-all drink. Quite frankly, it tastes disgusting.... and this is from someone who likes the tast of the hot springs of aqua sulis....

so which category does it fit into....

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 Post subject: Re: A Holy Well or not a Holy Well?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:04 am 
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well at one level I would say this is a spa. Most spas have a some precedent as a well, so I have no problem ascribing a non-votive classification to this site.

However, it depends on the cure all rep. If this is a cure based on a miracle/mystical property of the well then it is a holy well. If this is just due to the water being seen as effective in curing through a rational process, as at Bath, then it is still a spa or non votive well.

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 Post subject: Re: A Holy Well or not a Holy Well?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Well, on reflection, I am inclined to say 'spa' for Haydon Bridge and both 'holy' and 'spa' for Aqua Sulis.

Miracles and so on are non confined to Xtianity! IIRC the legend of the cure at Bath pre-dates the Romans, and there is medical evidence to support hydro-cures in 'modern' times.


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 Post subject: Re: A Holy Well or not a Holy Well?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:35 pm 
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hmm, does the idea of cure predate Rome at Bath? Interesting question now I come to think of it. The pre Roman site barely survives and we dont really know much about it. The Roman conflation of Sulis with Minerva might give us an idea about pre Roman ideas, which if so seem to suggest Sulis was a solve anything type of God, including health problems.

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 Post subject: Re: A Holy Well or not a Holy Well?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:23 pm 
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I shall have to look up the details for the pre-roman legends/myth for the hot springs at Bath, I can't remember them in detail !

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