Holy Wells in and around Preston
The web-site linked below is from the 'Holy Wells Journal' and contains details of Holy wells around Britain.
The words below are a much abridged version of the web page linked above which is well worth reading for the fuller story;
Reference; Some Holy Wells in and Around Preston by Norman Darwen
Most of the wells mentioned below no longer exist.
Holy Well, Ingol
Ingol is about two miles to the north-west of the town centre. According to Henry Taylor (1906), this well was a 'walled-in structure reached by a flight of steps, but it has now disappeared owing to landslips'.
St Catherine's Well, Lea
Lea, to the north-west. Taylor writes: 'The words "St Catherine's well" appear on the 1848 ordnance map in ancient Gothic letters close to the north bank of the Ribble, a quarter of a mile north of Lea marsh and three miles west from Preston market place. The site is two miles west from Penwortham Priory. The well has been disused for some years'.
Spaw Baths, Preston
Taylor writes: 'The words "Spaw Baths" occur on the 1848 ordnance maps in the grounds attached to Marsh House, three hundred yards west of St Mary Magdalene's Hospital, a quarter of a mile south-east from the Benedictine monastery, and the same distance north of the Ribble, and they may in all probability record the site as in so many similar instances of, another Holy Well'. In this area, there are at present a "Spa Road" and a "Wellfield Road", old streets of housing and warehouses.
Our Lady's Well, Preston
The site of this well is about three hundred yards east of the supposed site of the previous entry, on Marsh Lane. Taylor wrote: 'The site is marked on the ordnance map at a spot about one hundred yards north-east from the Franciscan friary, from which it is now separated by the Lancaster Canal. To the east of it is Ladywell Street.
Spa Well, Wellington Terrace, Preston
This well was 'near to the end of Wellington Terrace, at the side of a footpath leading down to the marsh', according to Anthony Hewitson (1883). It was supposed to have 'strengthening qualities', by external application, and was popular - many children were taken to it. This and the following entry probably vanished when Preston docks was built.
Spring, Ashton Quays, Preston
This spring on the west side of Ashton Quays, adjoining the road which in 1883 ran along the edge of the Ribble, was reported to have medicinal virtues.
Well, Avenham Park, Preston
In the south-east corner of this park, there is a drinking fountain (at least there was a couple of years ago, and may be still). The fountain stands on the site of a well which legend states never ran dry, and which was resorted to by people with eye ailments.
Boilton Spa, Preston
Hewitson describes this well in some detail: 'In a field below Boilton House, which stands upon the eastern side of Boilton Wood, and about half a mile from Red Scar, there was, formerly, a medicinal well. It went by the name of Boilton Spa, and it is said that its water cured consumption. This well was in the form of a double trough, two yards long and two feet broad, and was approached by about half a dozen descending steps.
Saint Mary's Well, Penwortham
The site of this well is still marked on Preston street plans. Henry Taylor wrote of it (1906): 'On Penwortham Brow, by the side of the High Road leading down into Preston, and one sixth of a mile south of the Priory, we find on the ordnance map, in ancient Gothic letters, "St Mary's Well".
St Anne's Well
A newspaper columnist in the last century wrote that a well or spring with this dedication once existed near Penwortham Church. It was certainly not in use in 1883 as in that year, a Canon of the church is quoted as saying that Saint Mary's Well was the only supply of fresh, clean water available to the population of Penwortham.
Our Lady's Well, Fernyhalgh
The well at Fernyhalgh is the best-known Holy Well in central Lancashire. Fernyhalgh consists of a few farms about three miles north-east of Preston.
Donations for the maintenance of the well shrine may be sent to; Rev. Parish Priest, St Mary's, Fernyhalgh Lane, Grimsargh, Preston, Lancs., PR2 5RR.
Bibliography from the Holy Wells Site
Anon (n.d.); Our Lady's Lancashire Shrine (St. Mary's Fernyhalgh), available from St Mary's Church, Fernyhalgh.
Cotterall, John (1985); North Meols to South Ribble, Neil Richardson Publi., Swinton, Manchester.
Eyre, Kathleen (1976); 'Lancashire Ghosts', Dalesman.
Hallam, John (1986); The Surviving Past, Countryside Publications, Chorley, Lancashire.
Hewitson, Anthony (1883); History of Preston.
Sterling, Jane (1974); 'Dark Age and Norman Lancashire', Dalesman.
Taylor, Henry (1906); The Ancient Crosses and Holy Wells of Lancashire, Sherratt & Hughes, Manchester.