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HER Number:MDV11958
Name:Holy Well 480m north west of Beaford Mill


Holy well associated with Hartland Abbey. Also known as Abbit's Hill Holy Well.


Grid Reference:SS 541 148
Map Sheet:SS51SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBeaford
Ecclesiastical ParishBEAFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS51SW/15
  • Old SAM Ref: 28618

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOLY WELL (XV to XIX - 1401 AD to 1840 AD (Between))

Full description

Brown, T., 1963, Holy and Notable Wells, Part V, 132 (Article in Serial). SDV16026.

Holy well near Abbot's Hill Farm. Associated with Hartland Abbey. Lies at the edge of Holy Orchard, now ploughed up. There is a 30 foot double wall behind it with boat shaped ends and an arch covering the basin of one spring. A trough stands out at rightangles.

Grinsell, L. V., 1970, The Archaeology of Exmoor (Monograph). SDV1641.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1973, SS51SW12 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV21077.

Visited 27/9/1973. Holy well lies in finely constructed arched alcove 1.2m high, 0.8m wide + 1.4m deep, set into west end of curving double wall composed of mortared random rubble. Wall terminals resemble the prow of a boat. A centrally divisioned trough with west half partially tumbled projects in front of the well chamber. It is now empty. A constant level of clear water is maintained in the basin. Local enquiry failed to establish dedication. The construction suggests possible late 18th century early 19th century date. Other details: Photograph.

Gerrard, H., 1995 - 1996, Holy Well 480m north west of Beaford Mill, 13965 (Un-published). SDV339267.

Visited 23/11/1995. Holy well situated on a steep slope overlooking the river Torridge on the W facing valley side. It lies 20m north of an unnamed stream which flows into the Torridge and survives as a double wall built of mortared local stone, which measures 18m by 1.9m and up to 2.6m high.
It has a hollow centre, and curving ends. Set into the western wall, at the northern end is an alcove over the well basin. The alcove has a corbelled roof and measures 1.12m long from east to west, 0.8m wide from north to south and is 1.17m high.
Within the alcove is a stone lined basin which maintains a constant water level and measures 0.82m in diameter and at least 0.43m deep.
To the west of the alcove is a stone built rectangular trough. This measures 3.95m long from north to south and 1.9m wide from east to west. The northern and southern walls are both 0.43m thick and measure 1.8m high at the point where they join the double wall to the east and 0.5m high to the west. The western wall forms the front of the trough from which the basin is approached.
This measures 0.3m thick and is 0.5m high. The base of the trough is solid construction with some overlying loose stone.
Although the dedication of the well is not known, it was associated with Hartland Abbey and originally linked to the old manor called Abbots Hill which lies to the north west. It lies at the edge of what was originally the Holy Orchard.

Department of National Heritage, 1996, Holy Well 480m north west of Beaford Mill (Schedule Document). SDV339268.

Unknown, 2002, Holy Well near Abbit's Farm, Beaford (Ground Photograph). SDV358600.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV16026Article in Serial: Brown, T.. 1963. Holy and Notable Wells, Part V. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 95. A5 Paperback. 132.
SDV1641Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. A5 Hardback.
SDV21077Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1973. SS51SW12. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV339267Un-published: Gerrard, H.. 1995 - 1996. Holy Well 480m north west of Beaford Mill. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Digital. 13965.
SDV339268Schedule Document: Department of National Heritage. 1996. Holy Well 480m north west of Beaford Mill. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV358600Ground Photograph: Unknown. 2002. Holy Well near Abbit's Farm, Beaford. Photograph (Paper) + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV11940Related to: Beaford, Abbot's Hill (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 14 2021 2:55PM