The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland

Lowlands Well, Wycoller, Lancashire

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Lowlands Well at Wycoller. Only these stones now remain.

NGR: SD 9317 3944. The location of Lowlands Well was at the side of Wycoller Beck, 25 metres to the northwest along the farm track from Lowlands Bridge, on the grassy verge opposite Lowlands Farm. However not much remains of the well today, apart from two large recumb-ant stones, or is it just one complete stone, on the grassy area beside the beck – one stone having a deep groove through it and the other stone a shorter niche carved into it. At the front of these stones stood a large stone water-trough. You can still make out the depression in the grass where the trough used to be. A pipe that came across the beck from a well at the bottom of Lower Pepper Ing Field on the other side of the beck was very precariously sup-ported in the middle of the flowing water; the spring water then flowed through the pipe which went through a round hole in a long flat stone slab standing upon the two recumbant stones. The trough was originally covered over with a wooden lid in order to stop anything from dropping into the water. The well water was then collected by the family at the farm and by other residents in the village of Wycoller, near Trawden in Lancashire. However in more recent times when the trough and its piped-water supply was not needed it was taken away, but when did it go? and where did it go to? Maybe another local farm took the water trough?

Lowlands Well, Wycoller from E. W. Folley’s Romantic Wycoller 1949

There were a few other water troughs in Wycoller village; indeed one other trough had three stone steps inside and was 7 ft 6” long x 4 ft 6” wide and was made from a solid piece of gritstone; it was dragged on rollers by seventeen pones, from Wycoller Hall to a farm at Nelson, so the legend goes, according to Cookson & Hindle in their 1973 book Wycoller, though Lowlands Well was always the main source of drinking water there. Looking at the two remaining recumbant stones, opposite Lowlands Farm, it would seem the water pipe was originally positioned lower down and coming through the middle of these stones where the groove is, but the black and white photo from Ebenezer W. Folley’s Romantic Wycoller in 1949 shows a lady collecting water at the well, and in this old photo we clearly see the pipe higher up and coming through the long slab, so there must have been a problem with the beck flooding, and the water-pipe having to be raised to a much higher, safer position; and there have been some very bad floods in Wycoller Dene back in the past. Lowlands Farm, opposite the well, dates from between the 17th and 19th centuries, and was the home of the Wilkinson family in the 1900s. It was Alfred Wilkinson who wanted to purchase the Wycoller Estate in 1972 but nothing came of it and soon afterwards Lancashire County Council came in with the Wycoller Country Park scheme which took off the following year, says John Bentley in his 1993 book Portrait of Wycoller. 

Sources / References & Related Websites:-

Bentley, John,  Portrait of Wycoller, Wycoller Country Park Project Townhouse School, Nelson, Lancs., 1993.

Cookson, Stanley & Hindle, Herbert, Wycoller, Hendon Publishing Co. Ltd., Hendon Mill, Nelson, Lancs, 1973.

Lowlands Farmhouse, Trawden Forest, Lancashire (britishlistedbuildings.co.uk)

Lowlands Well, Wycoller, Lancashire | The Northern Antiquarian (wordpress.com)

The Three Ancient Bridges, Wycoller, Lancashire | The Journal Of Antiquities

Wycoller – Wikipedia

Copyright © Ray Spencer, The Journal of Antiquities, 2021.

Author: sunbright57

I am interested in holy wells, standing stones and ancient crosses; also anything old, prehistoric, or unusual.

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