Holy Well or folly Bath house – Woolston’s St. Winifred’s Well

holyandhealingwells

Hidden down a little lane in the quite Shropshire village of Woolston is a picture-postcard holy well or is it? A site cited in every major countrywide review of the topic but is it a genuine site?

A holy well?

 Thompson and Thompson (2001) in their Wells of Mainland Britain are pretty equivocal stating that the well was used in the medieval period as a source of healing. A fact perhaps taken for the association with Saint Winifred. However, although this is a common theme amongst modern well researchers the earliest reference referring to the site by name is Phillips and Hulbert’s 1837 History of Salop:

“In the township of Woolston is a remarkable well, dedicated to St Winefred, but whether of healing virtues I am not able to give information.”

However, Charlotte S. Burne, Shropshire Folk-Lore reveal some interesting local evidence:

“some have sought to explain this…

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