The Lady's Well, Holystone
Missionary Stop for St. Paulinus
Holystone is a tiny village sitting sleepily beside the River Coquet in Northumberland. It was originally the site of a rather poor priory of Benedictine Nuns; but nothing of this complex - worth only £11 at its dissolution - remains today. These brides of Christ, however, once tended a famous holy well, a spring of pure Northumbrian water known as the Lady's Well, which still stands in a field near what used to be the local pub. It is well sign-posted and the walk to find it is extremely short and somewhat rewarding.
The clear pool lies silent amongst a small grove of trees, protected by a fenced enclosure and well looked after by the National Trust. It is a very peaceful place today and it is difficult to imagine the crowds of pilgrims who must have come here in centuries past. It is sometimes called St. Paulinus' Well, for the Northern missionary baptised some 3,000 people here in AD 627. It was previously St. Ninian's Well, so the earlier Scottish evangelist must have passed this way too. A second well, St. Mungo's, sits opposite the church. This Celtic saint apparently travelled through this popular village on his way from St. Asaphs (Wales) to Glasgow (Scotland).
The site is run by the National Trust. Free entry at any reasonable time.
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