Page images

well for an empty beechnut-husk, which can be imagined to bear some sort of likeness to a human face, and to throw this into the water with the face uppermost. If it swims while the diviner counts twenty, the wish will be fulfilled, but not otherwise.-Ibid., 427, 428.



About half a mile from the town is a spring of exceedingly pure water, which is supposed to possess the power of healing many painful diseases; in consequence the water is called holy water.


The parvise over the porch of St. Margaret's Church is known as the "Maid's Chamber," in consequence of two maiden sisters, named respectively Elizabeth and Catherine, who lived a recluse life, inhabiting it; they left a sum of money for the sinking of two wells, between the church and the infirmary, called the Basket Wells, Basket being said to be a corruption of Bess and Kate, the names of the donors.


Near the church is the famous well of "Our Lady," to which pilgrimages were wont to be made in days of yore.



"In a grove of ewtrees within the Manour of Westhall, in the parish of Warlingham, as I have frequently heard, rises a spring upon the approach of some remarkable alteration in church or state, which runs in a direct course between Lille Hills to a place call'd Foxley-Hatch, and there disappears, and is no more visible till it rises again at the end of Croydon town, near Haling pound, where with great rapidity it rushes into the river near that church. . . . It began to run a little before Christmas, and ceas'd about the end of May, at that most glorious æra of English liberty the year 1660. In 1665 it preceeded the plague in London, and the Revolution in 1668."—Nat. Hist. and Antiq. of Surrey, iii. 47, 48.


There was a holy well here dedicated to the Virgin Mary.



On the south-western side of the parish was situated the small establishment of Benedictine nuns who for three hundred years were the rectors and patrons of Horsham Church. When this priory was founded, and by whom, appears to be a matter of great obscurity. At a short distance from the house, surrounded by copse-wood and overhanging trees, is a small well of a circular form, and surrounded by cut stone, overgrown with moss. A flight of winding steps leading to it from an adjoining eminence adds a peculiar romantic and pleasing effect to this venerable work of antiquity, which is known by the name of "Nun's Well."

No account is to be found of its history, though it may perhaps have belonged to the neighbouring castle-Sidgwick. The tradition among the inhabitants affirms that a subterraneous passage connects this castle with the nunnery at Rusper, which is eight miles distant, but no attempt has been undertaken to ascertain the truth of this conjecture.

A tradition also states that the old convent bell was sunk in a pond in front of the house, and has disappeared in the mud.

In the appendix to the History and Antiquities of Horsham, Dudley Howard, 1836, from which work the above is quoted, it is asserted that near the building is a very deep well, said to have been used as a place of destruction for those members of the convent who had dared to break the vows of chastity.


Sidgwick Castle is in the parish of Broadwater, between Nuthurst and Horsham, about two miles and a half eastward from the latter.

About thirty yards from the outer moat is a well beautifully constructed of large blocks of hewn stone. It is called "The Nun's Well." Why, it is difficult to say, as this castle never was a religious house; it is also sometimes called "St. Mary's Well.” Ibid., p. 176.


This well obtains its name from the part of the town in which it stands, and which is

supposed to have been used by the Norman Brotherhood, who lived in the first house, next the churchyard, of the row east of the church called "The Normandy." This house still retains the name of the "Priests' House." The "Normandy Well" is open, and runs partly under one of the houses; it is only about four feet in depth, and yet in the longest drought the water always stands up (sic) sufficiently high to allow a pail to be dipped into it. It has been the custom to use the water from this well for the baptisms in the church.-Horsham: its History and Antiquities, Miss D. Hurst, 1868, pp. 32, 33.


Adjoining the kitchen apartments at the lower end of the hall is a well of considerable depth-Black's Guide to Sussex, 1884, says it is reputed to be 300 feet deep-and supplied with the purest water. It is called "St. Dunstan's Well," and was probably dedicated in his honour, and consequently the resort of pilgrims and the reputed scene of miracles. It is guarded by four walls, having one entrance.-Suss. Arch. Coll., ii. 244.


On the opposite side to the Friends' Meeting House, enclosed by brick walls, is a perennial spring that bursts out from the adjoining chalk-ridge, and rushes into the neighbouring brooks. This spring bears the ancient name of "Pin Well," and in former times enjoyed some celebrity. It was within the limits of the grounds belonging to the Grey Friary; it was approached by steps. The road from Pin Well to the bottom of School Hill was commonly called "The Friars' Walk." It is near the station. were formerly dropped into it. The well is now-1890-filled in; but its site, a small irregularly shaped piece of ground, is still distinguishable, being surrounded by a low brick and flint wall, having on the side fronting Friars' Walk a stone tablet with "Pin Well" cut on it.


A writer of the last century makes the following remarks anent the well: "Pynwell Street, so called from Pynwell, a very pure spring, which rises near the west end of 'Friars' Wall,' and was so called from Pinn or Pynn, a pine-tree, which formerly shadowed it, leads from School Hill, down

by All Saints' churchyard, on the west, but formerly had its direction on the other side, nearly opposite 'Pynwell.'"- History of Lewes and Brighthelmstone, by Paul Duncan, Lewes, 1795, p. 366.

(The account of these five wells has been kindly supplied to me by C. T. Phillips, Esq., Lewes.)


"The chalybeate springs at Holywell, a short distance west of the Sea Houses, are highly worthy the attention of the visitor. The quality of the water is said intimately to resemble the far-famed springs of Clifton, and it has been found highly beneficial in many of the diseases for which the mineral waters of Bristol are almost deemed a specific."

The analysis, however, proves them to consist of simple, but very fine, surface water.

"Not far distant there was a chapel dedicated to St. Gregory. Tradition states that the French, in one of their marauding expeditions, landed here, burnt the chapel, and carried off its bell to some church in Normandy. The chroniclers are silent as to this event."-History of Sussex, Horsfield, 1831, vol. i., 291. Sussex, by Lower, 1870, vol. i., 151. Suss. Arch. Coll., xiv. 125.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

HAMPSHIRE (continued).

1. Alverstoke.

2. Alynton (chapel).

3. Baddesley.
4. Beawley.

5. Bentworthe.
6. Blenworth.
7. Boldere.
8. Botley.
9. Bristelden.

10. Brokenhurst.

II. Bromer.

12. Byryton.

13. Byshoppes Stoke.

14. Chalton.

15. Chilworth.

16. Christ Churche.

17. Clanfeld.

18. Corhamton.

19. Drokensford.

20. Dybden.

21. Elynge.

22. Elingham.

23. Est Meun.

24. Eworst.

25. Exton.

26. Falley and Chapel of Exbury.

27. Fareham.

28. Fordyngbrydge.

29. Hammell de Ryse.

30. Hameldon.

31. Harbrydge.

32. Havaunt.

33. Hawnde.

34. Haylinge Northwod.

35. Hayling Suthwod.

36. Haylle.

37. Holnehurst.

38. Hordell.

39. Hunton.

40. Ibisley.

41. Idesworth.
42. Ketheryngton.

43. Kyngsyate.
44. Lindestede.

45. Meanstoke.
47. Milbroke.
48. Mylford.
49. Mylton.
50. Netley.
51. Northestoumer.
52. Nuteshalling.
53. Over Eldon.
54. Over Mallopp.
55. Petersfylde.
56. Porchester.
57. Portsey.
58. Portsmowth.
59. Rogborn.

60. Rowner.

61. Ryngwood. 62. Soberton. 63. Sopley.

64. Sutht Charford.

65. Sutht Stonham.

66. Suthwicke.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »