Healing Well (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – SD 540 293
Archaeology & History
Here we have another example of one of the many healing wells destroyed thanks to those industrialists who tend to do that sort of thing. Found in close proximity to several other water sources — including the Syke, Preston’s main watercourse in bygone times — very little has been written of the place. However, in Dave Hunt’s (2005) recent work on Preston, he told us the following:
“The Minspit Well in Mainsprit Weind at the foot of the Church Street ridge is close to the line of the Syke, has a good claim to be one of Preston’s earliest wells, and remained one of the principle water sources well into the 18th century. The ‘spit’ or ‘sprit’ element in the name perhaps indicates the original strongly flowing spring or fountain. The site is now covered over, but Kuerden, writing in the 1680s, describes the picturesque early morning scene as the town’s housemaids collected water in what was accordingly referred to as Pettycoat Alley.”
- Hunt, David, The Wharncliffe Companion to Preston: An A to Z of Local History, Wharncliffe: Barnsley 2005.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian