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HER Number:MDV448
Name:Covety or Coverney Well


Spring emerging from side of hill to form small pool in hollow, dammed in 1993. Said to be an ancient well, but no evidence of masonry.


Grid Reference:SS 485 195
Map Sheet:SS41NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGreat Torrington
Ecclesiastical ParishGREAT TORRINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS41NE/22

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOLY WELL (Unknown date)

Full description

Chanter, J. F., 1915, The Saints of Devon, 1 (Article in Serial). SDV348654.

Doe, G. M., 1936 - 1937, An Ancient Well on Great Torrington Common, 256 (Article in Serial). SDV348653.

Doe describes the local traditions and folklore associated with the well.

Doe, G. M., 1939, Address of the President, 49-50 (Article in Serial). SDV14615.

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Oval feature visible to west of trackway. Map object based on this Source.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1974, SS41NE16 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348652.

Site visit on 14th December 1953. Known as Coverly Well; situated in a hollow on the north side of a hill, it is marked by a marshy area with central springs. There is nothing to indicate that it is more than a normal spring, no tracks lead to it and there are no traces of masonry.

Brown, T., 1957, Holy and Notable Wells of Devon, 212 (Article in Serial). SDV304810.

Covety or Coverney Well. An ancient well on western part of commons adjoining the trackway from Weare Gifford to Holsworthy. Consists of an excavation in the side of the hill. Medical, especially optical. Rags used to be hung on bushes (c. f. Madron). Doe suggests derivation from Coventina, Roman bath nymph at Hadrian's Wall; but more probably St. Coventina, Bishop of Dumnonia.

Grinsell, L. V., 1970, The Archaeology of Exmoor, 212 (Monograph). SDV1641.

Scrutton, S., 1994, Spring (Worksheet). SDV348650.

Site visit on 18th March 1994.The spring, known locally as Coverney, Coverley or Covety Well, emerges from the side of a hill to form a small pool, and lay beside an ancient trackway called Limers Road. It is credited with healing properties, particularly for eye complaints, and is believed to have been in use in the 19th century. The well is visible on an old postcard of the Commons and was 'rediscovered' in 1993, when it was dammed with a few stones. Map object based on this Source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV14615Article in Serial: Doe, G. M.. 1939. Address of the President. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Hardback. 49-50.
SDV1641Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. A5 Hardback. 212.
SDV304810Article in Serial: Brown, T.. 1957. Holy and Notable Wells of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 212.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV348650Worksheet: Scrutton, S.. 1994. Spring. Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV348652Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1974. SS41NE16. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348653Article in Serial: Doe, G. M.. 1936 - 1937. An Ancient Well on Great Torrington Common. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 19. Unknown. 256.
SDV348654Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1915. The Saints of Devon. The Devonian Year Book. Unknown. 1.

Associated Monuments

MDV53222Related to: Limer's Road, Great Torrington (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 14 2011 9:34AM