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Wavertree's Demon Well


According to James Mackinley in ‘Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs’ (1893) ‘At Wavertree, in Lancashire, once stood a monastery and beside it was a well. When pilgrims arrived, the occupants of the monastery received their alms. If nothing was given, a demon, chained to the bottom of the well, was said to laugh. This notion was either originated or perpetuated by a fifteenth century Latin inscription to this effect, "Qui non dat quad habet. Daemon infra ridet."

I am unsure about a monastery being having been in Wavertree, however William Moss's ‘The Liverpool Guide’ (1796) referred to an old monastic looking house inhabited by some religious order, who might request alms towards their support.

The well with it’s inscription was mentioned in Baines's Lancashire Directory of 1825 and William Andrews 'The Church Treasury of History, Custom, Folk-lore, etc' dates the inscription over the well as 1414 and sataes all travellers were supposed to give alms on drinking.

The map does not show the actual location of the well, just a central location for Wavertree.


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