Monday, August 08, 2011

Friar Tuck's Well. Fountaindale, Lynhurst.

Fountaindale is a small moat in the region of Lyndhurst, near Blidworth. Formed by a natural source of water springing from the ground, it was established as a Holy place long before the days of Robin Hood or even Christianity. Once the site of a Pagan Shrine, the moat was formed in order to protect its relics. Those relics were moved from the shrine and buried by a loyal priest to safeguard them from invading Vikings. They've never been found. During later Christian times a similar small shrine or chapel here was said to be maintained by Friar Tuck, no doubt attached to nearby Newstead Abbey (then known as Saint Mary's Priory.)

It was Will Scarlet who alerted Robin Hood to Friar Tuck's prowess with both bow and sword. Robin, feeling he must have such an accomplished fighter in his band of outlaws, was so wary of the Friar he even wore armour before making his trip to Lynhurst, possibly setting out from nearby Thieves Wood. The story of their meeting, carrying each other back and forth over the moat, became one of the most popular stories associated with the legend.

A Well on the Eastern edge of the moat became known as Friar Tuck's Well. By Victorian times this had become a stone and iron work structure, and popular for the "healing waters" it was said to contain. Sadly, The last stones from the old hermitage were apparently removed in 1875, and the scattered remnants of the Well were to fare little better. What remains of Friar Tuck's Well today is regarded as being on Private Property. But if one visits the site in Spring, before the unkempt greenwood obscures everything from view, traces of it may still be viewed from a respecful distance.

End photograph in the video itself is copyright Andy "Holywell" of The Megalithic Portal, and I am grateful for his kind permission to use this. For more of his work visit THIS LINK.
Below: Fountaindale "moat" looks more like a small lake today.

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