Our Lady's Well, Hempsted

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Our Lady's Well
Our Lady's Well, Hempsted.jpg
TypeHoly Well
LocationHempsted, Gloucester
Coordinates51°51′15″N 2°16′15″W / 51.854185°N 2.270776°W / 51.854185; -2.270776Coordinates: 51°51′15″N 2°16′15″W / 51.854185°N 2.270776°W / 51.854185; -2.270776
Built14th century
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated10 January 1955
Reference no.472460

Our Lady's Well (also known as Saint Anne's Well) is a holy well house in Hempsted, Gloucester. It was designated as a Grade I listed building in January 1955.[1]

History[edit]

The well house was built in the 14th century for the Manor of Hempsted, which was held by Llanthony Secunda.[1][2] The well house is a tall structure built from Limestone blocks with an arched opening at the front. Water issues from the front into a large stone trough.[3] The rectangular water trough was added in the 18th or 19th century, and would have provided water for livestock. On the back of the well is a stone sculpture showing Saint Anne standing between her daughter, the virgin Mary, and an Angel.[4] It has been used as a baptistery,[5] and formerly was considered to have medicinal properties.[6] In the past it has been a place for pilgrimage, with countless pilgrims being recorded as coming to the site to seek cures. Pilgrimage was revived in 1989 for several years but has now ceased. The well is now dry. Ancient earthworks exists just to the east of the field containing the well.[3]

The back of the Well showing the stone sculpture of Saint Anne

Architecture[edit]

The well house is built of limestone ashlar blocks with a gabled roof of dressed limestone slabs. It is a small square building with an entrance on the west-side, which used to be closed by an iron door. There is a rectangular water trough, also on the west side extending to the north, which is made of dressed stone kerb walls. The north and south walls are plain, but in the gable of the east wall is a worn sculpted structure of three figures. Inside there is a single square chamber with a water inlet at low level.[1][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Our Ladys Well (Within Field Aprroximately [sic] 350 Metres West of Road". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Hempsted". British History. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Hunt, Lawrence. "Some Ancient Wells, Springs and Holy Wells of the Cotswolds". insearchofholywellsandhealingsprings. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  4. ^ Torode, Brian (19 June 2014). "Holy Wells of Gloucestershire". btsarnia. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  5. ^ "SUB57 Land at Newark FarmSite Historic Environment Assessmentsfor Strategic Assessment of Land Availability (SALA" (PDF). Gloucester City Council. January 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  6. ^ "The Holy and Ancient Wells and Springs of Gloucester – Our Lady's Well, Hempsted". insearchofholywellsandhealingsprings. Retrieved 10 March 2019.