Our Lady's Well

History & Heritage
Our Lady’s Well was dedicated to St Mary, in Stow has been a site of Marian devotion for at least 1,200 years

About Our Lady's Well

Our Lady’s Well in Stow has been a site of Marian devotion for at least 1,200 years. Lying just south of the village the well had an attendant well chapel and a separate shrine church both now lost.

According to the Welsh monk Nemius, King Arthur received a vision before a great battle, in which Mary promised victory to a Christian champion. Arthur is said to have fought with an image of the Virgin and Child on his shield. He won and, in gratitude, brought a fragment of the Cross and a statue of Mary from Cappadocia which he placed in a church he built in Stow for her honour. In Nemius’ account, 826AD, the statue had already been damaged in the border wars but was still held ‘in great honour and veneration’.
The well was severely damaged during the Reformation. At the beginning of the 19th century a large boulder said to bear the imprint of Mary’s foot, where she had alighted to speak to Arthur, was broken up and used as hardcore on the turnpike road. The remains of the well chapel were bulldozed in 1963 to create a farm access track. The Well was restored in 2000 and is now protected beneath a stone dome.
Fragments of prayers related to Our Lady of Wedale were published around 1910 by a Benedictine monk Michael Barnett. ‘O Mary, tender-fair, gentle-fair, loving-fair, Mary beloved! Mother of the white lamb! Our Lady of Wedale, pray for us!’
Grid ref: NT455438

More like Our Lady's Well