Holy Well of St. Anne - Atlas Obscura

Holy Well of St. Anne

Once the site of medieval pilgrimage for its healing powers, this well was lost and later rediscovered. 


In the quiet suburb of Caversham, once a place of Catholic pilgrimage, is a small well called the Holywell of St Anne. The suburb was an ancient settlement where a chapel dedicated to St. Anne was made. Sadly, the chapel doesn’t exist despite the well still standing. Not much is known about the site, as Henry VIII ended Catholic worship and many religious sites in the area. 

The village’s spiritual life centered on the ancient parish church of St Peter; Augustinian monks from the Nutley monastery cared for the Our Lady’s shrine and would welcome pilgrims. Many would pilgrim to the site, especially the well, for the mineral water since it supposedly has healing properties. However, as mentioned, the shrine and well would be lost to time due to the banishment of Catholic worship.  

Fortunately, the well was discovered in 1906 by the landowners, the Talbots. They preserved the well as a memorial drinking fountain and added a cover to the well in 1908. The well sits on the corner of Priest Hill and St Anne’s Road, and quiet remains as cars pass by. 

Know Before You Go

It is a 26 minute walk from Reading train station. Parking is limited and hard to find in the area. 

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