Wine Wife Well


Our usual Wednesday outing, cut short by a prior appointment of my photography colleague (and his insistence on visiting a bicycle shop), amounted to exploring a small nature reserve on the perimeter of a private wood.  Nothing much to speak of, or photograph come to that.  But experience has taught me there is invariably something that will intrigue – if not from a photography point of view.

And so was the case here, at Picking Gill Nature Reserve, in the appearance of this rather sorry looking hole in the ground. Lined with worked stone, water was flowing from a pipe further back in the bank over the lip of the basin formed by the stone, forming a small beck which followed the contour of the slope down into a small lake in the private wood.

I’ve done a little research since arriving back home and it turns out this is probably known as Wine Wife Well.  How old it is, or rather, how long it has been known as such I don’t know, but it is one of what seem to be known as holy or folk wells, scattered round the countryside of Britain.

There are many natural springs around, why some should be known as holy wells/folk wells I don’t know – but it seems as if I will have to add something else to my list of things to look out for when I go out on my church/landscape photography trips.