Nov 06, 2016 I Brett Tingley

English Archaeologists Unearth ‘Cursed’ Medieval Well

Archaeologists in the United Kingdom believe they have found a supposedly “cursed” well dating back to the Medieval era. The well was found on privately-owned land and has been found surprisingly intact. Local legends recorded by nearby monasteries state that St. Anne, grandmother of Jesus Christ, once bathed in the well and imbued the waters with magical healing powers.

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The well had fallen into disrepair at some point in the 19th century.

The 2 meter (~6 foot) square well has a series of sandstone steps leading down into its pool, where pilgrims would bathe themselves in order to heal various conditions or be blessed by its magical waters. Jamie Quartermaine, an archaeologist working on behalf of the British preservation society Historic England, told Seeker that the well is believed to have been constructed by followers of the cult of St. Anne:

This well was probably a late Medieval foundation as the cult of St. Anne did not become widespread in England until after the end of the 14th century. This well in particular would have seen pilgrims stepping into a pool of spring water roughly 1.2 metres (4 feet) deep, where they could wash away sins or attempt to be healed through divine powers

The well fell into disrepair and was forgotten, however, after Henry VIII took the English throne in 1509 and began a campaign of eradicating monasteries and holy shrines.

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The opening of the well prior to renovations.

While the well began as a healing site, it is believed to have been cursed at some point in the sixteenth century. According to an 1877 article in the St. Helens Reader newspaper, a land dispute between the monastery and one of its neighbors led to one of the monks casting what appeared to be a curse on the well. The monk threatened the neighbor and immediately after fell over dead; the neighbor shortly after lost his son to disease, fell into poverty, and was eventually found next to the well with his head smashed in. No amount of magic water can fix that, it seems.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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