Healing Well: OS Grid Reference – SE 2107 2515
Also Known as:
- Manor Lea Well
Archaeology & History
Originally called the ‘Manor Lea Well’ because it could be found on the far west of the land belonging to the Manor House, the name later became corrupted to ‘Mannerly’ by local folk. It was one of the four prime water supplies for this part of the old village, but it had other important social and festive rites attached that undoubtedly went back centuries. H.A. Cadman (1930) told that:
“On Palm Sundays it was the custom for boys to take bottles containing Spanish juice, treacle, and any other sweet thing they could, for the purpose of having them filled with the water from the well. The boys then exchanged bottles with each other and each sampled the others. It was said that no better water existed for this purpose.”
This particular ritual was integral to virtually every Spa Well from Wakefield through to the source of the River Calder.
A Mr G.W. Parker said that the well was to be found at the “extreme Western side” of Manor Lea and was “still in existence” when Cadman wrote about it in 1930, “behind Company Mill” not far from the Moravian Burial Ground. Do any local historians know if the well is still there, or has it since been destroyed?
- Cadman, H. Ashwell, Gomersal, Past and Present, Hunters Armley: Leeds 1930.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian