Roads & Properties

No 89

Chalice Well garden

Formerly Anchor Inn, Lately Tor School House

1844 Tythe No 1645 Tor Inn owned by James Crocker

Large Gothic house of about 1830 storey extensions to each side. Rendered, with ashlar dressings. Moulded cornices and crenellated parapets. Banded quoins to left-hand and some to right. Pantile and slate roofs. 4 windows with rectangular hoodmoulds. Sashes with glazing bars. One 3-light window with stone mullions to left on 1st floor. 3 bays of 3 lights each to ground floor. 2 ashlar bays with cornices and crenellated parapets to left (one bay with French windows). One modern wooden door to right. Demolished 1975.

Chalice Well garden
1844 Tythe No 1646 garden & baths owned by James Crocker

Chalice well, a large chalybeate spring, breaks out of the rock at the foot of the Tor. There is apparently no evidence to show that this well was regarded as a holy well in the days when the Abbey was standing. It did however gain popularity about 1750 for its alleged curative properties.
The earliest documentary references are medieval in the Great Chartulary of Glastonbury Abbey - in 1210 it is called "Chalcwelle", in 1256 as "Chalcwell", in 1305 as "Chalwelle" and "Chakwelle" and in 1306 as "Chalkwell". The road close by was "Chalcwellestrete" in 1295 and Chilkwell Street today. The alternative name of "Blood Spring" is presumably derived from the reddish-brown iron deposit from which the water runs. Became famous in the C18 when a spa developed

Excavated in 1961. The well consists of a "well-shaft" roughly square with sides 6ft externally and 3.5ft internally and an inner chamber on the W side of irregular pentagonal plan. The shaft is built of large squared blue lias blocks to a depth of 9ft. Some of the upper stones may be the remains of a corbelled roof. Suggested that the style of the masonry is late C12-13 and may have been reused. It may have been built c1220 when the Abbey was improving its water supply. Evidence from the excavation that the medieval ground level was much nearer to the base of the well and the shaft would have been a free standing building up to 8ft high and 6ft square (a well house) Presumably built to prevent contamination of the source. The inner chamber probably dates to c1750 when the spa became popular, with newer stonework likely to be of late C18 coinciding in the spa's revival. The purpose of the inner chamber is not clear - may have been a sedimentation tank. Further evidence for the well house seen by the rapid accumulation of silt resulting from the spring not scouring the material away. The suggested date for the building of the well in the C13 would be consistent with the accumulation of some 4ft of silt by the C17 and a further 4ft to recent times. But excavated evidence is not conclusive. Further finds from the excavation were 20 mesolithic flints, single sherds of Iron age and Roman pottery and some medieval - proof of frequentation rather than occupation.

Back to Street
Glastonbury Antiquarian Society, 48 High Street, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9DX - Registered Charity No: 309955
Website designed by Sean Miller - All images and text © Glastonbury Antiquarian Society 2017

Site Map