A Square Round Well

The *Round Well* at Costessey: 2nd Sept 2019

My submission for the #2019picoftheweek challenge title: All’s Well

For details of #2019picoftheweek challenge see MariaAntonia

This magnificent well sits beside the main Norwich to Dereham road, at the corner of Longwater Lane in Costessey. Despite misinformation to the contrary, it is not a sacred well but of quite modern origin, believed constructed by French prisoners of war (according to Norfolk County Council’s Heritage site, but then they date it to 1820). As a child, I remember a ricketty wooden door at the back, peeping through it to spy the ferns that grew from the damp brickwork inside. It has since been secured.

Long shot of Round Well with obelisk: 2nd Sept 2019

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in History, Photos and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to A Square Round Well

  1. Nice take on this prompt! Very unique and different Crispina! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jen Goldie says:

    I can’t help myself but to say “Well! It’s quite the well!” and it is. There’s so much detail. All those small stones placed between or over the brick. A work of art. I’m wondering if those ferns still thrive, It would be interesting to have a peek 🙂 Those French POW’s were probably very proud.

    Like

  3. Violet Lentz says:

    What a beauty! I’ve never seen such a picturesque well. Excellent choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale says:

    Lovely take on the prompt, Crispina.
    They probably secured it because of you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an interesting well.

    Like

  6. What an interesting well! I’ve never seen one quite like it. Love how you used the prompt this week! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brian Bixby says:

    French prisoners of war in 1820? What did they do, stay on after Napoleon’s defeat?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Joy Pixley says:

    Interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that style of well, all enclosed like that with a bowl in front. And the idea of putting an obelisk on top is very new to me, too.

    I’ve tried searching for “round well” and am not getting anything about the wells themselves (just a lot of roads and companies named Roundwell). Is there another name for this style?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Thanks – that helps clear up the obelisk timing. I can’t quite tell if “Round Well” is the name of it, or the description. Either one of which would be funny because, as you say in the title of this post, it’s actually square.

        Like

      • I’m thinking there might have been a well there from days gone by, which was round. But when, c.1800, it had a smart encasing, the name was kept. Only one thing speaks against that. Until they drove the turnpike road through, it would have no traffic. The original road followed the river through the village. It’s all very odd.
        I’m trying to remember the shape of the well inside that casing. I remember the ferns growing. I remember dark damp red bricks. But was it a round shaft, or square? I think it was round. But I wouldn’t swear to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        It could be yet another example of history that we can’t piece back together correctly, even when we have a few clues. Which of course makes it extra interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, if the archaeologists can’t get it right, what hope for us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Yes exactly — I meant we in the broad sense of modern scholars et al.

        Like

      • Yea, I know. But I was bringing it back home, 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • I lived there for the early part of my life, and all I get when I google is the Roundwell Medical Centre, which was built on the site of the former Roundwell Public House, post 1983.
      BTW, there were three sacred wells in the vicinity, accredited and dedicated to St Walstan. Each was beside a river: The River Wensum, River Tud and River Yare. That beside the River Yare, at the neighbouring village of Bawburgh, was until recently an active pilgrimage site. The well next to the Tud has been excavated by archaeologists. The third is mostly silted and overgrown. Though I have memories of losing my foot down it when a kid!
      However, those three all sit in valleys, while this beastie sits on a hill. A long way down to the water table? One assumes so. This is sandy-gravel, a terminal moraine from an Ice Age (don’t know which Ice Age; not the last, the last never reached that far)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Clearly I’m going to have to learn more about wells, and add some sacred wells into Eneana somewhere. Although I see your point: a hill seems poor placement.

        Like

      • You might like to read about St Walstan’s Well at Bawburgh. Somewhere deep in the archives of my blog, I have a feature about that, with photo. I think. But regardless, you’ll find it online.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Another link for you: The same year as I was back on my feet after 13 yrs of CFS/ME, I wrote a post for my every walk, indulging my obsession with local history. At the time I was only using a Nokia phone-camera, so the shots aren’t whizzo. But I thought it might interest you.
        https://crispinakemp.com/2014/10/05/norfolk-hills/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        That is quite the obsession with local history, and it pays off with such a post! The part about The Dog pub no longer being called that reminds me of the small town/rural area I grew up in, where people still gave directions based on what the buildings *used* to be called, or based on buildings that hadn’t been there for years!

        Plus it is a surprise treat to see a sign for toad crossing, as that is my first.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Like I said in the post, they used to hop through my place. The kids would collect them in buckets and take them down to their breeding grounds. We Brits care about our wildlife. We haven’t the wide vistas you have in the States, so every little corner is treasured and protected. For example, if a new road is to cross a badger trail, then a tunnel is made for them to cross in safety.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Tien Skye says:

    I love your take on the prompt! Very well done!

    Like

  10. It is magnificent, though I’m a little sad you can no longer peep through the old wooden door!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have passed this well so many times when we were living in Hingham. It is great to now now its origins. Excellent photo, and thank you for bringing back some pleasant memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, you lived in Hingham. I used to bike into Hingham when I lived at Morley St Botolph. But that was so long ago to be in another world.
      Glad this raised some happy memoies. Does for me too; I grew up here.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.