Record Details

NHER Number:9298
Type of record:Monument
Name:St Walstan's Well


This is the site of the holy well of Walstan. Legend has it that his body rested here before its final journey to Bawburgh church. The well was a centre of pilgrimage and its waters are reputedly a curative for scrofula - a disease affecting the skin of the neck. The medieval well has been replaced with a modern brick construction.


  • The Holy Well, Bawburgh.  © Courtesy of Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service.


Grid Reference:TG 1531 0872
Map Sheet:TG10NE

Full description

13 October 1976. Visit.
One of the wells said to have sprung up where the body of Walstan rested on its journey to Bawburgh in 1016; this, the most holy, was a centre for pilgrimage and the water was sold in Norwich as a cure for scrofula up to this century. All that can be seen now is a modern brick wall in form of a square, enclosing a round cement pipe full of green water.
E. Rose (NAU), 13 October 1976.

(S1) shows a cover has now been erected over the well.
E. Rose (NAU).

Ancient Monuments Form description:
St Walstan was the Norfolk farm labourer Saint, depicted on several Rood screens said to have been born in this parish and buried in 1016 also here, where there was a shrine visited by many pilgrims. The Well is in an orchard below the Church and supplied water alleged to have curative powers. Water from this Well has been sold in Norwich within living memory as a remedy for scrofulous affection at the last Catholic Congress in Norwich, hundred made a pilgrimage to this well. It is very much like an ordinary well, circular in shape, raised about 2 feet above ground. T is not used at present for ordinary purposes.
Information from (S2).
H. Mellor (HES), 17 July 2018.

Department of the Environment. February 1986.
Information from (S2).

The best summary of all the references to St Walstan is in ref (S3).

Armstrong's Diary for 22 November 1868 says that it was the moss, not the water, from the mill that was held as a curative.
E. Rose (NLA), 9 September 1997.

For more details of the recent history of the well see (S4),
E. Rose (NLA), 6 March 2004.

Monument Types

  • HOLY WELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. Ancient well is blessed. 30 May.
---Publication: Twinch, D.. 1989. Walstan of Bawburgh.
---Monograph: Twinch, C.. 1995. In Search of St Walstan..
---Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 10 NE 9.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Publication: Dutt, W. A. 1949. Norfolk.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 196.
---Publication: Taylor, R. C. 1821. Index Monasticus.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Bawburgh.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2016. Well, well… Paul finds ancient link to saint. 14 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2014. Water from Norfolk well was known to have healing powers. 7 May.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980. [Photograph of St Walstan's Well]. 7 February.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980. Neat and tidy again. 21 February.
<S2>Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. NHER9298.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Gill, M.. The Saint with a Scythe..
<S4>Article in Serial: Halliday, R. 2003. St. Walstan of Bawburgh. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 316-325. p 323.

Related records - none

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