Healing Well: OS Grid Reference – SE 14678 38688
Whether you’re coming here from either Baildon, or Shipley, head for the Cricketer’s Arms on Green Road (ask a local). About 50 yards uphill from the pub, on the other side of the road, notice the small pool on the green surrounded by large rocks. That’s y’ spot!
Archaeology & History
First illustrated on the 1851 6-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map of the region, this little known medicinal spring of water appears to get its name from the northern dialect word, crutch, meaning a plough, a plough-handle, a spade and variants thereof. (Wright 1898) There is another possibility of it deriving from “an ash or hazel pole” that were given as payment to workers each day in bygone times—a curious custom in itself! But we actually don’t know for sure and could even assume that people came here on crutches to be cured, or something along those lines.
The place has clear running water and had a chapel built near it in the early 19th century. The old public house across the road (Cricketer’s Arms) has spring water from this well running underneath it, which was said to never run dry and also keeps the drinks forever cool in warm weather! A few yards above the source of the spring, on the grass to the north is a small cup-marked stone. Another cupmarked rock listed by archaeologists as a prehistoric carved stone nearby on the same grass verge is probably of more recent industrial origin.
Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons – parts 1-15, Adelphi: London 1913-1926.
Wright, Joseph, English Dialect Dictionary – volume 1, Henry Frowde: Oxford 1898.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian