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Sacred Springs

36 37 Northwest of the delightful harbour town of Whitby is the quiet village of Hinderwell, with its churchyard well. The village name commemorates Hilda, abbess of Whitby. Legend tells that the illustrious saint was travelling to Guisborough when, exhausted and thirsty, she prayed, and the spring arose at that spot. Its pure, clear water possessed healing qualities and to mark the miracle a church was built. The restored well is reached down a flight of stone steps. On Ascension Day, people would visit the well with liquorice, which would be mixed with the water and drunk. This was also known as Spanish Water Day. This is a custom seen at many wells, where sugar, liquorice, peppermint or brown sugar was added to well water as a sweetener. Two unusual Yorkshire wells are the amazing Petrifying Well at Knaresborough, with its ability to turn anything to stone and The Ebbing and Flowing Well at Giggleswick. Legend tells of a terrified nymph who was pursued by a satyr till the gods, answering her prayers, turned her into a crystalclear healing spring. And so the water ebbs and flows with her breath. St Chads Well and St Cedds Well are nearby to Lastingham church, with its atmospheric crypt. St Chad was St Cedds brother and is the patron saint of wells. ST hIlDAS WEll Hinderwell, North Yorkshire
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