Yorkshire Holy Wells



St John's Well - Moxby
(SE 6049 6512)

Thomas Gill describes St John's well as it appeared in the early 1800's (1) ......

"About a mile distant from the nunnery, at the corner of the wood called St John's Wood, was formerly an ancient building, consisting of a small dome of stone and brick, over a spring, well known in the neighbourhood as "Saint John's Well". There is still discernible the remains of a causeway leading from the nunnery in the direction of this well. The water is reported to possess medicinal properties, and there is a large and convenient stone cistern built on the east side into which the water is admitted for the purpose of bathing.
It was much resorted to in the days of superstition, and there are still the remains of stone steps for the more easy descent thereto. Near the mouth which admits the water into the bath is a large stone called the wishing stone, and many a faithful kiss has this stone received from those who were supposed never to fail in experiencing the completion of their desires, provided the wish was delivered with full devotion and confidence"

Today the well is in the garden of a private house, the stone chamber around the spring still exists, as does the open air bath, from where the water flows away into a nearby stream ditch. The mention of a small dome of stone and brick over the well  is interesting and perhaps looked similar to the St John's Well at Harpham.
The site of the nunnery mentioned by Thomas Gill is now Moxby Hall Farm, a mile to the north-west of the holy well. The nunnery was established around the 12th century and was dedicated to St John, which is likely to explain this holy wells dedication and the well at
St John's Well at Stillington.

Blind Keld
(SE 6018 6497)
The first edition O.S. map also shows a spring named  "Blind Keld - Chalybeate" by the road to the west of St John's well. Today this spring is piped under the road and a small of trickle of water flows into a field drainage ditch. The water appears to have slight chalybeate properties so perhaps its waters were used as a treatment for eye ailments?

(1)Thomas Gill, Vallis Eboracensis. 1852.

Access - The well is located on private property.
Condition - Good, now being looked after by its new owners