Sites of Well Myths and Legends

Brother or Sister

Location: Liverpool (Lancashire) - Well in Everton area, but covered over pre 1859
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre 1850s
Further Comments: The site of a fratricide, the well was at one point considered haunted by the dead sibling before being covered over.

Epilepsy Cure

Location: Llandegla (Clwyd) - St Tecla's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Well still present
Further Comments: This well was said to cure epilepsy by washing in its waters after sunset, making an offering of fourpence, walking around the well while reciting the Lord's Prayer, and then sleeping under the alter using a bible for a pillow (all while holding a cockerel if a man, or a hen if a woman).

Cursing Well

Location: Llanelian-yn-Rhos (Clwyd) - St Ellian's Well (no longer present)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Late Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Destroyed by the local clergy, the well which once stood here was used to curse one's enemies. The hex could be reversed if the pebble dropped into waters by the giver of the curse could be found and removed from the well.

Healing Eel

Location: Llangybi, near Pwllheli (Gwynedd) - St Cybi's Well
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sick would dangle their feet into the waters of the well, hoping that the touch of the eel would increase their chances of recovery.

Warty Dragon

Location: Longwitton (Northumberland) - Three wells near village
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This wyrm is said to have found the water from the wells so refreshing he set up home here. The creature was described as having a black tongue, long tail, warty skin, and very sharp claws. It was finally killed by Sir Guy of Warwick.

Vicious Little Folk

Location: Ludgvan (Cornwall) - Well
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The well in the village is reported to be protected by violent fairies, which are also capable of summoning storms.

Healing Well

Location: Madron (Cornwall) - Well (or spring) of St Madron
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The holy well here is said to have cured the injured and diseased. Dropping pins or pebbles into the water and counting the bubbles which rose enabled time-based divination questions to be answered (one bubble equated to one year). Another legend associated with the location is that of King Arthur, who was told that the waters would burn a man who was not pure of heart. Arthur placed his hand in the water and pulled it out unscathed, but when Mordred tried, his hand was scalded.

Blazing Eyed Dog

Location: Malahide (County Dublin) - Feltrim Hill
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large black hound with burning red eyes was said to lurk in this area. A phantom grey horse is also reported, as is an old woman laden down with a bundle of faggots, drifting towards the Holy Well.


Location: Melsonby (Yorkshire) - Berry Well (may no longer exist)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This well was haunted by a ghostly entity which had taken the form of a white goose.

Female Form

Location: Melsonby (Yorkshire) - Ladywell (aka Lady Well)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The area around here is haunted by a headless woman, whose history is unknown.

Headless Woman

Location: Melsonby (Yorkshire) - Lanes and church close to Lady Well (likely no longer present)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa nineteenth century?
Further Comments: A local myth said the well close to the churchyard was haunted by a headless white lady.


Location: Minch Moor (Borders) - Cheese Well
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Well still present
Further Comments: The well took its name from the cheese which travellers would leave for the resident fairies.

The Rag Well

Location: Munlochy (Highland) - St Boniface's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Rags are tied around the well to transfer ill health and bad luck away from the visitor and into the healing waters.

Wishing Well

Location: Newcastle (Gwent) - Well and springs
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This wishing well was used by throwing pins into it, while the waters of the spring would be used to cure joint pain and inflammation.

Healing Well

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne (Northumberland) - St Mary's Well, Jesmond
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Well still present, vision late 11 century
Further Comments: This well was once said to have magical healing properties, while at an unstated location nearby, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared just after England was invaded by the Normans.

Future Husband

Location: North Kelsey (Lincolnshire) - The Maiden Well (spring, current operational status not known)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 24 April (ritual had to be done on St Mark's Eve)
Further Comments: It was possible to see one's future husband by walking backwards up to and around the spring three times before kneeling down and gazing into the water.

Wishing Well

Location: Northallerton (Yorkshire) - St John's Well, close to the ruins of priory at Mount Grace (may no longer exist)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Wishes were said to be granted if you stuck a pin into an ivy leaf before casting it into this well.


Location: Oswestry (Shropshire) - King Oswald's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: This spring was created when the severed arm of King Oswald of Northumberland hit the ground, dropped by an eagle who had taken it from a battlefield. The nearby hillfort was once thought to have belonged to Guinevere's father, though this is now discounted.


Location: Oundle (Northamptonshire) - Drumming Well, Drumming Well Lane
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Prior to historical event
Further Comments: This mysterious loud drumming sound has been heard emanating from the well, a prelude to days that shall go down in history - it is documented the beating was heard during the Great Fire of London, the death of Charles II, and the death of Cromwell. The well is currently covered.

White Horse Upright

Location: Oxwich (West Glamorgan) - Churchyard
Type: Other
Date / Time: Early nineteenth century
Further Comments: This ghostly creature walks around on hind legs, ending the jaunt as it vanishes down an ancient well.

Protected Stone

Location: Pelynt (Cornwall) - St Nun's Well
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: A farmer once tried to steal this stone to use on his farm - halfway home with his booty, the chains used to drag the stone snapped, allowing the rock to roll back to its starting location. To further prove a point, the oxen used to move the stone all suddenly died, and the thieving farmer was crippled.

Wet Man

Location: Phillack (Cornwall) - Buck of Blood inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This building is said to be haunted by a monk and a man dressed in wet ripped clothes. The latter ghost's body is said to have been discovered in a well on the site.

Strange Figures

Location: Portaferry (County Down) - Cooley Wells
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s / 2000s
Further Comments: Several reports of phantom voices and visions of ghostly figures exist based around the area of this set of ancient wells.


Location: Portree (Highland) - Prince Charles's Well, road between Portree and Uig
Type: Manifestation of the Living
Date / Time: 15 April 1746
Further Comments: The day before his defeat at Culloden, the shade of Prince Charles was seen by the well, crying 'defeated'.

Red Water

Location: Powerstock (Dorset) - Well
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The water in a well within the village is said to occasionally turn red. A local legend says this is because a husband discovered his wife's infidelity and pushed her into the well (the red is explained as either her blood or the colour of her clothing).

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