Calf Hey Well, Briercliffe Lancashire 002299
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
According to Clifford Byrne in his book The Holy Wells and Mineral Springs of N.E.Lancashire,
“Calf Hey Well is a strong spring which rises out of the hillside, but in medieval times it was believed that the waters here had special qualities. Some people thought it was a holy well and reputedly many people visited Calf Hey on holy days when jugs of water were sold. A few accounts state that stalls were set up on a flat piece of land to the west of the well, Here vendors not only sold water but other things (food, religious objects and trinkets) and a market atmosphere must have pervaded the site”.
Folklore has played its part here too. Fairies are said to have inhabited the well in days gone by – indeed they were ‘often seen dancing around the well in the moonlight’.
In 1819 the local water company took over the well and began to use its supply of water for the ever growing population of Burnley a few miles to the west. After this the fairie people were never seen again at the well – a number of people thought that they were feeling very indignant at what had transpired. In actuality, the quartz rock was removed.
There are a few lesser-known wells in the same area as Calf Hey. These include The Jam Well at Worsthorne, Sweet Well at Holden Clough and Robin Hood’s Well at Black Clough, Thursden.