St John’s Well, Dronfield, Derbyshire

Holy Well:  OS Grid-Reference  SK 353 783

Getting Here

St Johns Well, Dronfield

St Johns Well, Dronfield

In Dronfield, St. John’s Well is to be found off Church street in the Forge in the courtyard adjacent to the glass roofed atrium on the left hand side.

Archaeology & History

J.C. Cox (1875–9) in his Churches of Derbyshire appears to the sole reference although he quotes a lost 1710 reference.  He notes a St. John’s Well cited by Francis Bassano, c.1710, saying:

“…a well, close to the churchyard in St John’s Lane, called St John’s Well, from which “they usually fetch water now for baptising infants””.

Looking down the well...

Looking down the well…

...and into the waters

…and into the waters

Despite only this slight mention, the site still survive.  According to local historian Mr. Ken Ward, the well is that now found in the courtyard of the forge: a 16th century building now developed into a small shopping complex.  He states it is 80 metres from the south porch of the church supporting Bassano’s location.  The site is along Church Street (previously Church Lane) which he believes was once called St. John’s Lane. The well is a circular one with modern stonework on the top.  However, this encloses a much older ring of six layers with a grill apparently opening out into a larger chamber below.  It appears to be a deeper well than would be expected, but it is spring-fed and was presumably deepened for use in the forge.

References:

  1. Cox, J. Charles, Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire – volume 1, Palmer & Edmonds: Chesterfield 1875.

Links:

  1. Holy & Healing Wells

© R.B. Parish, The Northern Antiquarian

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About pixyledpublications

Currently researching calendar customs and folklore of Nottinghamshire
This entry was posted in Brigantia (Northern England), Derbyshire, Holy Wells and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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