National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

St Chad's Well

Summary

Type Fountain

     This holy well is now covered by a simple tiled canopy which has replaced older structures. The water is accessible from a sunken well mouth surrounded by paving. The well regularly features traditional well dressings. The vines covering the canopy are a traditional Christian symbol referring to the Eucharistic wine.
     In the 1820s the church wardens had the well cleaned; and in the 1830s a local physician, James Rawson supervised the cleaning of the water and built an octagonal stone structure over it.(1) This structure was described as, 'roofed with heavy stones, a triangular archway heading the narrow doorway and five stone steps leading to the water. Three narrow loopholes in the massive walls show the solid work of the rounded interior and the stone on which he is said to have stood for baptism. The initials C.E. and E.P. and the date 669 in Roman figures are above the entrance'(2) This structure was later destroyed.
     St. Chad (d.672) was the Bishop of the old Kingdom of Mercia and is regarded as the missionary who introduced Christianity to the East Saxons. The well is said to have the stone upon which St Chad stood naked to pray. When canonised St Chad was designated the Saint of Medicinal Springs. The well was the centre of a cult of St Chad from the seventh century until the Reformation.

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Well Stone, brick, paving stones Square opening 89cm square
Canopy Tiled base of structure 5m square
Four supports Wood and stone overall height of structure 4m (inc. roof)

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
STliLIlb042 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Biological growth
Structural condition
  • Cracks, splits, breaks, holes
Vandalism
  • None
Road St Chad's Road
Precise location St Chad's Cemetery, NW of the church
A-Z ref 151 2G
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design Well has existed since 7th century
Year of unveiling None
Unveiling details Latest restoration dates from the 1950s
Commissioned by None
Duty of care St Chad's Church
Listing status II
At risk? No known risk

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