MDE1031 - St Thomas's Well, Parracombe (Building)


St Thomas's Well, near Parracombe church, has been described as a holy well. It is a natural spring, now enclosed by a rectangular brick built concrete-lined chamber measuring 1 metre square.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 6763 4506. St Thomas's Well, near Parracombe church is listed as a holy well. [1,2] "St Thomas' Well" shown on the 1st and 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey maps, with additions on the 1938 Ordnance Survey map. [3-5] SS 6763 4506. St Thomas's Well (NAT). [6] SS 67622 45067. St Thomas's Well, a natural spring, is situated on the southeast side of a stream at the foot of steep slopes in a small scrub-filled gulley. It has been enclosed by a rectangular brick built concrete lined chamber or cistern, about 1 metre square. There are two similar rectangular buildings a few metres downstream and the water appears to have been piped underground to them. Although encased, water still oozes from the base of the cistern. According to Dr Mold [7] this was probably covered over in about 1900. [8] The well is not depicted on the Parracombe Tithe Map. The site is within land parcel 83, recorded in the Apportionment as "Church Close", owned by William Dovell and occupied by Charles Dovell. [9] Monument record reviewed as part of NRHE to HER pilot project. [10,11] Jones refers to a holy well, not dedicated to St Helen, with a burial place which is dedicated to Helen, at Parracombe. However, Parracombe Church was dedicated to Petrock. N.B. The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map refers to St Petrock's Church as St Helen's Church [3]. St Thomas' well is 175 metres northeast of the site and is possibly the well referred to here. This data was originally recorded in MDE1066, which is another possible well site. The third is Lady's Well (MDE20142). [11, 12] St Thomas's Well is depicted and labelled on 2020 MasterMap data. [13]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Inf C Whybrow.
  • <2> Serial: Devonshire Association. 1862 -. Devonshire Association reports and transactions. Volume 92 (1960), 102 (T Brown).
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1903/38. 6 Inch: 1903-38. 1:10560. 6NE.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1963. 6 Inch Map: 1963.
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Dr E Mold, 10 Longmead, Lynton, Devon.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 21 July 1993.
  • <9> Map: 1839. Parracombe Tithe Map and Apportionment. Land parcel 83.
  • <10> Archive: Historic England. 2016. NRHE to HER prototype website test. 34638.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 34638, Extant 28 April 2021.
  • <12> Serial: Society for Landscape Studies. 1979-2019. Landscape History. Volume 8 (1986), "Holy Wells and the Cult of St Helen", 62 (G Jones).
  • <13> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 22 May 2019.
  • <14>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #43108 ]



Grid reference SS 6762 4506 (point) (MasterMap)
Map sheet SS64NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64NE/15
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 2036
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20116
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NE13
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34638

Record last edited

May 3 2021 10:32PM


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