Monument record MDR5447 - Hermit's Well, Dale Abbey

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

[SK 43783861] Hermit's Well [GT] (1) The baker of Derby, established a hermitage at Depedale, "His well may still be seen a short distance north-east of the Church." (2) According to the Chronicle of Thomas de Musca, after Ralph de Hanselin had granted the tithe of his mill at Borrowash to the hermit of Depedale, the recluse left his cavern and erected an oratory, with a dwelling for himself, near a spring, a little to the west of his former abode. At this very time [c. 1883] there is a spring a "little to the west" of the hermitage still called "The Hermit's Well". It is not now seen bubbling from its original source, for that is covered by the debris worked down and trodden in from the sides of the original channel by the hoofs of cattle through many long ages. The bed of the depression is now a quagmire, producing a luxuriant crop of watercress; but in the midst of it is a shallow stone-girt well of no great antiquity, the top of which affords a firm footing to the visitor. The spring is certainly in its ancient position, for natural features are slow to change. A few yards west of this spring is the church, with a dwelling-house adjoining. There is probably no other church in the kingdom so much at one with a domestic edifice, and it is this feature which leads the writer to think that both church and house relatively occupy the identical sites of the oratory and dwelling erected by the hermit. (3) "... the well at the corner of what is now the orchard of the 'Church House' is still called the 'Hermit's well'" (3) The well is disused and covered. Published survey correct (1/2500 1959). (4)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1913-38. 6".
  • <2> Article in serial: St John Hope, W. 1883. 'Chronicle of the Abbey of St Mary De Parco Stanley, or Dale, Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 5. pp 20,29.
  • <3> Article in serial: Kerry, C. 1883-4. 'Depedale, and the Chronicle of Thomas de Musca, canon of Dale Abbey', The Reliquary. Volume 24, pp 133-144.
  • <4> Article in serial: Binnall, P. 1940. 'Holy wells in Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 61, pp 56-65. p 59.
  • <5> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 01-DEC-66.
  • <6> Index: TPAT. 2131. 2131.



Grid reference Centred SK 4377 3860 (8m by 12m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR710

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Record last edited

Jun 29 2012 1:40PM

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