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HER Number:MDV272
Name:St John's Well on Hatherleigh Moor


St John's Well a Medieval Holy Well on Hatherleigh Moor once used for baptisms


Grid Reference:SS 552 043
Map Sheet:SS50SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHatherleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishHATHERLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 33491
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS50SE/1
  • Old SAM Ref: 30314
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS50SE1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOLY WELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'St John's Well' shown on 19th century map.

Oldham, D. W., 1908, The Story of a Woodland Well, 190-2 (Article in Serial). SDV344836.

St John's Well on Hatherleigh Moor an ancient sacred well reached by 'Sanctuary Lane' commonly called 'Sentry Lane'.

Pearse Chope, R., 1936, Devonshire Calendar Customs, 249 (Article in Serial). SDV344838.

Brown, T., 1957, Holy and Notable Wells of Devon, 190 (Article in Serial). SDV304810.

St John's Holy Well on Hatherleigh Moor used in Medieval times for water for baptisms.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1972, SS50SE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV344835.

St John's Holy Well dedicated to St John the Baptist and used for baptisms.
The well house is slightly domed 1.5 metres high and built of stone which has been much repaired or rebuilt. The door on the south-west side has brick surrounds.
Not mentioned in early histories but currently know as St John's Well. Other details: Photograph.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1997, St John's Holy Well (Schedule Document). SDV344834.

St John's Holy Well. The monument includes a holy well which is situated on Hatherleigh Moor at the head of a small valley which cuts across the moor to the east of the village of Hatherleigh. The monument survives as a circular stone lined well with a diameter of 0.7 metres. It is full of water and is at least 0.6 metres deep. Enclosing the well is a D-shaped stone and brick well house which has a domed roof. This measures 1.2 metres long by 1 metre wide and is 1.4 metres high. There is a wooden door across the front of the well which measures 0.7 metres wide by 1.18 metres high. The door faces south-west. This well was used during Medieval times as a baptismal well. Although its original name is not known it is now called Str John's Well.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 33491 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV344840.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

'Well' shown on modern mapping to the north of a small 'Pond'.

Green, T. + Morris, B., 2011, Hatherleigh Moor, Hatherleigh, Devon. Results of a Desk-Based Assessment & LIDAR Interpretation (Report - Assessment). SDV348242.

At the location indicated on Ordnance Survey maps as St. John’s Well the LIDAR data indicates a wide depression, with an apparent holloway curving around the edge of the gully from the north-west. The walkover survey determined that at least two narrow holloways descended down to St. John’s Well from the west and north-west. The well itself was almost entirely silted up, but its shallow depth was disturbed by the welling spring waters. The well is capped by a short lime mortar-bonded stone structure with a wooden door in the south-west side. Most of the depression was concealed by scrubby vegetation and bracken.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV304810Article in Serial: Brown, T.. 1957. Holy and Notable Wells of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 190.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV344834Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1997. St John's Holy Well. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled. [Mapped feature: #85646 ]
SDV344835Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1972. SS50SE1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV344836Article in Serial: Oldham, D. W.. 1908. The Story of a Woodland Well. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 40. A5 Hardback. 190-2.
SDV344838Article in Serial: Pearse Chope, R.. 1936. Devonshire Calendar Customs. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 68. A5 Hardback. 249.
SDV344840National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 33491. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV348242Report - Assessment: Green, T. + Morris, B.. 2011. Hatherleigh Moor, Hatherleigh, Devon. Results of a Desk-Based Assessment & LIDAR Interpretation. Southwest Archaeology. 110713. A4 Spiral Bound + Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 24 2014 8:21AM