This is also known locally as the Wishing Well, on the other side the outcrop of rock, and slightly higher up is the Holy Well.
The Edge was owned by two landed families, the Stanley’s and the de Trafford’s. The ancient Holy Well is on Stanley land and this one, just a few metres away is on the de Trafford’s. Behind the trough there is a small cave that may have been a trial mine shaft, although Alan Garner suggests that both this and the spring itself may have been another result of the Romanticisation of the Edge in the eighteenth century, with the cave being cut as a form of hermit’s cell. He believes that there may have been a bit of competition between the two families!
The water at this spring comes out at quite a rate compared to the other ‘seeping’ wells on the Edge and is helped by the fact a hand bored drill hole has been made into the rock, tapping the spring and forming a spout. There is a local tradition of putting a rhododendron leaf into this to aid the fall of water directly into the trough beneath.
The sandstone outcrop is topped by several mature beech trees – part of the 18th century landscaping project and makes the area sort of hobbity. Unfortunately these trees are now at the end of their lives and quite a number have been lost.
This well is the focus of a lot of offerings, more so than the more ancient Holy Well above, and I have often seen fruit, flowers, pebbles and candles here. One time I interrupted a lady arranging a small mandala of flowers and leaves on the ledge above. I always lave here with the water as I do at the Wizard’s Well, there is a lovely focused atmosphere at the spot.
The water itself runs very clear and remains so in the trough itself – the other wells always seem to have cloudy water, probably because it has taken so long to accumulate and doesn’t fall with enough gusto to replenish the troughs. The water is tempting to drink but like all the wells on the edge has a very high mineral content, especially copper (no surprise there!) and so it is best not to swallow it. The water from this well and the Holy Well have different sources which is surprising as they are so close together.