St Anthony's Well

Useful Information

Location: Flaxley Valley, near Mitcheldean, forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
From Mitcheldean on road A4136 to Cinderford, turn left at Plump hill into Jubilee Road. Walk from a timber yard.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst spring
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1864 minister Richard Snaith conducted baptisms in St. Anthony's well.


"If anyman will not work, neither let him eat", St Anthony.

St Anthony lived in the 4th century and was canonised on January 17. He was an Egyptian of Christian parentage. His steadiness of temper and purity of soul, is second only to his miracles associated with water.

St Anthony's Well is covered by a square stone basin, presumably for baptising the converted. There are two other springs, to the north and the south about 50 m apart. The springs issue from quartz-conglomerates of the Upper Old Red Sandstone near the foot of a steep hill which is crowned with Carboniferous Limestone. The yield was 200,000 gallons a day in 1922 [Richardson p 34]. It was also noted that pumping at Cinderford Waterworks, Greenbottom affects the yield at St Anthony's Well [ibid p 30]

Text from Tony Oldham (2002): Caves of the Forest of Dean.
With kind permission.

The well is said to heal skin diseases and sore eyes. To do this it is necessary to visit the well nine times at sunrise during May and wash the skin. Most likely the well was a ritual site for a very long period of time. In the area around the spring prehistoric flint implements have been found, also Roman and Iron Age artifacts.