St. Mary's Well, Jesmond
A famous pilgrimage site that remains hidden in the midst of a city.
St. Mary’s Well is a quiet and hidden place of sanctity, right in the middle of a busy suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne. Unless visitors know exactly where to look, it’s easy to miss the unassuming footpath that serves as a shortcut between The Grove and Reid Park Road. That’s where visitors will see the sign for the well.
The well is likely named after the nearby chapel of St. Mary, once one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the United Kingdom. The chapel dates to the 12th-century, and the well dates to the 17th-century. Nevertheless, there’s a peaceful and slightly mysterious atmosphere surrounding the well as it is only accessible by passing through the wooden gate.
The well itself is simple and unassuming. It consists of a pool of water with a stone arch above it, in which the word “GRATIA” once part of the inscription “Ave Maria gratia plena,” can still be seen. Coins are often thrown into the pool by visitors.
Above the well are various wooden crosses, candles, statues of the Virgin Mary, and flowers. There’s a strong sense of being away from the world when venturing to the well, as it’s a place still cherished as a holy site.
Know Before You Go
You can park nearby on Reid Park Road or The Grove. Wear boots if visiting in autumn (slippery leaves) or winter (be careful of ice). It may not be suitable for people with mobility issues.
Just off Osborne Road is a cycle/pedestrian path, Sycamore Close. This paved road will take you directly to the Well between residential homes.
Continuing on in an easterly direction, the dirt path will take one to the ruins of St. Mary's Chapel. The 12th-century remains of a chapel once dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There is signage for this location and other destinations on Reid Park Road.
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