Saturday 14 February 2015

Well, well, well!

Few more posts uploaded to the website to tell you about and an exciting rediscovery!

Posts uploaded lately are: the Cottonmill Swimming Baths, Cottonmill Club, St Stephen’s, Mercer’s Chronometers and one on Miss Lydia Lightfoot of Holywell Hill which has been contributed by Lindsay Seagrim-Trinder. Lydia was born way back in 1875 so what a lovely link to the past that was.

Some time ago I uploaded an item about St Stephen’s Vicarage which described the house and the garden. This was written in the early 1920s by the incumbent Rev. Fielding Ould who wrote down a history of the church in a wonderful almanac which I was given permission to read. This is just one of the fascinating extracts: “The Vicarage garden and grounds (of about 2¼ acres) are of great natural beauty. They include an orchard walled on two sides and adjoining the churchyard, a large lawn on the east side of the house and a small lawn on the west on Watling Street side, a large walled kitchen garden, a glade at the south side of the large lawn, two shrubberies with trees, a pleasant little wood with fine trees opening from the bottom of the large lawn. There is an ancient and picturesque well with the wheels and cogs of wood. It has not been used since the town water became available.” [My italics]

And, I have a photo of this well which dates from the early 18th century illustrating how picturesque it was.

The structure around the well is no longer there but the well is! It has recently been rediscovered near St Stephen’s Church car park. There is nothing to see but a hole in the ground and it will have to be covered over in some way, of course, as it is a danger to man and beast, but what an exciting find! And it is another link to our history. There must be loads of wells in our area of course. Lydia Lightfoot had one in her garden at 61 Holywell Hill and the “Holy Well” is just up the road. It would be good to plot more of them. Let me know if you find one.

Sandy Norman

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