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From ‘A Short History’ of The Chalice Well by Felicity Hardcastle (first published in 1963)

The Healing Water

The wonderful curative power of this water has long been known and reverenced and has constantly been used for baptism and healing. In 1582, Dr. John Dee, famous as a mathematician and astrologer, declared himself possessed of the ‘Elixir Vitae’, which he had found at Glastonbury, but nothing more seems to have come of this discovery.

In the mid-18th century a certain Matthew Chancellor of North Wooton published an account of a dream in which he had been directed to drink a glass of this water on seven successive Sunday mornings, whereby he would be cured of his asthma. He followed the directions carefully and found himself “recovered of his disorder.”

These facts when published drew enormous crowds from Bath, Bristol and the surrounding country, and so great were the numbers that lodgings could not be obtained for all who came. In fact, on May 5th, 1751, 10,000 people were said to have invaded the town. It was at this time that the Pump Room and Bath House reached the height of their fame. Many cures were effected and a list of them was published in 1751 in a book with testimonies sworn before a Magistrate as to the truth and genuineness of each case. King’s evil, blindness, ulcers and deafness were among the many diseases mentioned.

The fashion (or the faith) gradually declined, but all down the years, healings have continued.

Felicity Hardcastle

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