Monthly Archives: April 2015

The most ancient holy well in England? Southam’s Holy Well, Warwickshire


Southam 3Perhaps the most ancient holy well in the country is also one of the most delightful with presently presumed 18th century and medieval features it is certainly a remarkable survival – even more remarkable since its’ splendid restoration.

Southam.  Holy Well Holy Well, Southam. Cissie, Eva and Dorothy Cardall (L to R). c.1905

Oldest recorded holy well in England? The first mention of the well is apparently 998, when it is mentioned in a charter to Leofwine by King Ethelred the Unready as a consequence as the term holy well per se derives from Old English halig this is probably the oldest recorded. However, it does not appear to be specifically mentioned as such.  However in a Feet of Fines there is a notice in 1206 of a:

 “half acre land at Hallewellcul to the north”

Over the next 800 years there then appear to be regular references to the well. By…

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Talking Stones: the Glasgow RMMC


IMG_7516 Stones on display at Govan

IMG_20150413_170359 Dr Forsyth giving her keynote address in Govan church

I’ve just returned from a specialist interdisciplinary international workshop of the RMMC (Runes, Monuments and Memorial Carvings) hosted by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Glasgow and deftly co-organised by Anouk Busset and Dr Elizabeth Pierce. We enjoyed two days of papers on a wide range of topics exploring mainly early medieval memorials and monuments from Scandinavia and the British Isles, as well as a few papers from farther afield in time and space. There were many highlights so I won’t pick out any specific papers.

Ok, I guess I should mention an interesting paper by my Chester colleague Dr Adrian Maldonado; he gave an excellent appraisal on the hitherto neglected early medieval simple cross-incised stones from across Scotland. Adrian’s paper stuck in my mind in particular because he was tackling rather modest…

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