St John's holy well: Beside St John in the Vale church, Keswick
WHAT did people do for water before the arrival of the kitchen tap?! Water was previously provided by a number of public fountains or water was obtained from wells. And going back further, wells or springs were the only source of fresh water. Some of these wells become famed for healing or other magical properties. The 'holy wells' might be named after a particular saint such as St Catherine's Well in Eskdale or St Mungo's well at Caldbeck, attracting pilgrims or those seeking miracle cures. Most of these wells (springs is a better term) still survive since they are natural features although their precise location may have been forgotten. We have started compiling a map of the holy wells that we know to still exist (or believe them to be the ones referred to in archives). If you can add any more please get in touch.