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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