Information for record number MWA758:
Holy Well 800m W of Southam Church

Summary The site of a holy well which dates to the Medieval period, though the stone work surrounding the well dates to the Imperial period. Further restoration has taken place in the 20th century. It is situated 800m west of the church, Southam.
What Is It?  
Type: Holy Well, Well
Period: Medieval - Modern (1066 AD - 2050 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Southam
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 41 61
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Scheduled Monument (Grade: )
Listed Building (Grade: II)
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 Three quarters of a mile from Southam, in the direction of Thorpe, is a Holy Well with the remains of what must have been rather important architectural surroundings. The water rises in a shallow semicircular tank about 15 or 20 cm in diameter. It has fragments of a base and cornice of Classical character. The water flows away from the tank through three mutilated masks, one of which wears a curled wig.
2 A small colony of Black Monks from the Abbey of Rowcester (Staffs) was located at Holy Well, Southam, their cell being in close proximity to a powerful spring. Only the enclosure of the fountain now remains, the monks having been removed to their old house in 1326.
3 Rocester Abbey was Augustinian and had a cell at Holy Well, (Halywell), but this was at Caves Inn. It is unlikely that Coventry Priory would allow an alien cell in their own manor. The description of reference
2 is correct. The well is still running, but the surrounding stonework is probably late 18th to 19th century. There has been modern restoration.
5 The water from the well spilled over into three small inverted stone basins and finally into the River Stowe. The water was felt to have certain healing powers, particularly in some cases of eye disease. The parish council have carried out certain repairs to the stonework.
6 The spring is now dry. In 1761 it was determined that the well should be fenced and free access obtained for all the inhabitants of Southam. The name Halewellcul occurs in 1206.
7 Described in the 1985 SAM List.
8 Early, undated scheduling record.
9 Scheduling location map.

Source No: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Warwickshire Naturalists and Archaeological Field Club
Author/originator: Fretton W G
Date: 1892
Page Number: 46
Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Shakespeare's Land
Author/originator: Ribton-Turner C J
Date: 1893
Page Number: 286
Source No: 5
Source Type: Correspondence
Title: Holy Well, Southam.
Author/originator: Brooks J J
Date: 1952
Page Number:
Source No: 6
Source Type: Desk Top Study
Title: Holywell, Southam
Author/originator: Usher H
Date: 1973
Page Number:
Source No: 9
Source Type: Map
Title: The Holy Well, Southam
Page Number:
Source No: 3
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: OS Card 25NE6
Author/originator: Ordnance Survey
Date: 1968
Page Number:
Source No: 7
Source Type: Scheduling record
Title: SAM list 1985
Author/originator: DoE
Date: 1985
Page Number:
Source No: 4
Source Type: Scheduling record
Title: "The Holy Well", Southam
Author/originator: Ministry of Works/DoE
Date: 1953
Page Number:
Source No: 8
Source Type: Scheduling record
Title: The Holy Well, Southam
Author/originator: Ministry of Works/ DoE
Page Number:
A Holy Well in Southam
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1996
Click here for larger image  
A holy well in Southam
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1920s
Click here for larger image  
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Word or Phrase
none Scheduled Monument Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are those archaeological sites which are legally recognised as being of national importance. They can range in date from prehistoric times to the Cold War period. They can take many different forms, including disused buildings or sites surviving as earthworks or cropmarks.

SAMs are protected by law from unlicensed disturbance and metal detecting. Written consent from the Secretary of State must be obtained before any sort of work can begin, including archaeological work such as geophysical survey or archaeological excavation. There are nearly 200 SAMs in Warwickshire.
designation Listed Building Buildings and structures, such as bridges, that are of architectural or historical importance are placed on a statutory list. These buildings are protected by planning and conservation acts that ensure that their special features of interest are considered before any alterations are made to them.

Depending on how important the buildings are they are classed as Grade I, Grade II* or Grade II. Grade I buildings are those of exceptional interest. Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. Those listed as Grade II are those buildings that are regarded of special interest.
source OS Card Ordnance Survey Record Card. Before the 1970s the Ordnance Survey (OS) were responsible for recording archaeological monuments during mapping exercises. This helped the Ordnance Survey to decide which monuments to publish on maps. During these exercises the details of the monuments were written down on record cards. Copies of some of the cards are kept at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. The responsibility for recording archaeological monuments later passed to the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments. back
source SAM List Scheduled Ancient Monument List. A list or schedule of archaelogical and historic monuments that are considered to be of national importance. The list contains a detailed description of each Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) and a map showing their location and extent. By being placed on the schedule, SAMs are protected by law from any unauthorised distrubance. The list has been compiled and is maintained by English Heritage. It is updated periodically. back
period Modern The Modern Period, about 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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period Medieval 1066 AD to 1539 AD (the 11th century AD to the 16th century AD)

The medieval period comes after the Saxon period and before the post medieval period.

The Medieval period begins in 1066 AD.
This was the year that the Normans, led by William the Conqueror (1066 – 1087), invaded England and defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex.
The Medieval period includes the first half of the Tudor period (1485 – 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIII’s (1509 – 1547) order for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the years running up to 1539 AD. The whole of this period is sometimes called the Middle Ages.
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period Imperial 1751 AD to 1914 AD (end of the 18th century AD to the beginning of the 20th century AD)

This period comes after the Post Medieval period and before the modern period and starts with beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1750. It includes the second part of the Hannoverian period (1714 – 1836) and the Victorian period (1837 – 1901). The Imperial period ends with the start of the First World War in 1914.
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period modern About 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
more ->
monument INN * A public house for the lodging and entertainment of travellers, etc. back
monument HOUSE * A building for human habitation, especially a dwelling place. Use more specific type where known. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument CAVE * A subterranean feature entered from a hillside, cliff face, etc. A cave may have been used for occupation, storage, burial, refuse, or as a hide-away. Index with site type or objects where known. back
monument FOUNTAIN * An artificial aperture from which water springs. The water supply usually came from a lake or reservoir higher up in order to ensure the necessary flow and pressure. More recently fountains have been powered by pumps. back
monument CLUB * A building used by an association of persons for social and recreational purposes or for the promotion of some common object. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument PRIORY * A monastery governed by a prior or prioress. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, FRIARY, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument ABBEY * A religious house governed by an abbot or abbess. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument HOLY WELL * A well or spring, possessing religious or otherwise ritualistic significance, around which a structure, such as a niche, wall or shelter, has been constructed. In the case of the water source being a natural spring, double-index with SPRING. back
monument WELL * A shaft or pit dug in the ground over a supply of spring-water. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument CELL * A monastic enclave dependent on a mother house. back
monument ENCLOSURE * An area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or other similar barrier. Use specific type where known. back
monument MANOR * An area of land consisting of the lord's demesne and of lands from whose holders he may exact certain fees, etc. back
monument STOWE * A type of windlass for drawing up ore. back
monument ALIEN CELL * A residence of two or three monks dependent on a foreign mother house sent to exploit a distant estate. Alien houses were officially suppressed in 1414. back
monument SPRING * A point where water issues naturally from the rock or soil onto the ground or into a body of surface water. back
monument TANK * Armoured military vehicle with its own firepower, which operates on tracks for troop mobility over rough terrain. Some may be adapted, or purpose-built, to be amphibious, and may then be double-indexed as AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLE. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record