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 Post subject: St Mary's Chapel and Well, Jesmond. (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Nwecastle's Oldest Chapel, and the well, are on open grassland, reached from Jesmond Dene Road and The Grove.

Until the mid-19th century Jesmond was not much more than a village between the City of Newcatle and the R. Ouseburn, helped by five priests, after a sojourn in St Mary's Chapel, he then went to Tynemouth. (I don't know what happened next!). This little chapel has had many owners - ranging from Edward III in 1364, to the citizens and mayor of Newcastle in 1594 (when a nearby hospice was included) The monastic buildings were used as a barn and stable by Lord Armstrong before it was transfered back to the City authorities in 1883.

Along with the nearby well, for many hundreds of years, the chapel has been a place of pilgrimage. 'Divers miracles' were said to have happened to the sick who visited the chapel. The route followed by these pilgrims has been suggested as why 'Pilgrim Street' in central Newcastle is so named.

The well itself lies about 200yds west of the chapel, with a stone wellhead, inscribed in Latin with "Hail Mary Full of Grace" of which only 'Gratia' still survives.
During cold weather, the warm water bubbling up can produce a cloud of vapour. People continue to fill bottles with the water, believing it to have healing properties, there are two other springs in this secluded area, with the same reputation.

Evidence from a 1982 archaeological dig indicated that the existing stonework dates from the 17th century at the earliest. William Coulson built a bathing place beside the well early in the 18th century, and remodelling was carried out in the 19th century.


Paraphrased from "Curiosities of Tyneside" by Robert Woodhouse. Published in 2006 by Sutton Publishing.

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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's Chapel and Well, Jesmond. (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:35 pm 
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I've visited this well a number of times, and I've always wondered about the claim of warm water. If it did produce it once, it doesn't seem to anymore.

I think the account Woodhouse gives is possibly taken from older sources, but he has just taken it at face value and not checked it out himself... decribing the area as "secluded is a clue - it may have been once, but isn't now ! In fact the well and its hollow are now surrounded by what seems to be the grounds of various large houses [Jesmond is not a low-rent area !].

Though before the building, the chapel probably would have been in sight of the well, or at least from the lip of the hollow it's in.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's Chapel and Well, Jesmond. (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:40 pm 
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I wonder what the recent weather would have shown?

If the spring didn't freeze!

(I remember the steam coming off the springs in Bath, especially the "Cross Bath", before it was "improved")

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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's Chapel and Well, Jesmond. (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:03 pm 
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StoneRoad wrote:
I wonder what the recent weather would have shown?

If the spring didn't freeze!

(I remember the steam coming off the springs in Bath, especially the "Cross Bath", before it was "improved")



I've been meaning to have a little field trip out that way, but haven't managed it yet [its a bit off my normal beaten track]. Might possibly be able to fit it in next week, weather and other things permitting...

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