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Sacred Springs

30 31 Kirkoswald is a small picturesque village in the Eden Valley, northeast of Penrith. The village derives its name from the Church of St Oswald, and the well is on the side of the church. The church has actually been built over the spring, which passes under the full length of the nave. The water emerges in the carefully preserved well house at the side. Many churches, minsters and cathedrals were sited over springs. As a drinking well, also used for baptism and pilgrimage, it is a now rare example of a well with a drinking cup on a chain for tasting its clear waters see also Scotlandwell, page 48. To the south, near the church at Edenhall, is overgrown St Cuthberts Well, on private land. This well is linked to a relic called a Luck, said to bring good fortune to its guardian. The Edenhall Luck was a beautiful, richly coloured glass chalice, and fairies seen dancing round it were heard to sing If this glass should break or fall, Farewell the Luck of Edenhall. A special case was made to protect the Luck and it is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Also in Cumbria is the dipping pool of St Helens Well at Great Ashby, said never to fail, and there is a handsome well house at St Patricks Well at the head of breathtaking Lake Ullswater. Another well beneath a church is St Patricks Well at Aspatria. ST OSWAlDS WEll Kirkoswald, Cumbria
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