St Mungo’s Well, Bromfield
According to The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England by Robert Charles Hope (1893), ‘In Bromfield there were plenty of legends connected with this well. It is situated in a field near the churchyard. The present vicar, the Rev. R. Taylor, with reverent care, had it cleared and enclosed with a circular vaulted dome of stone, on which he placed an appropriate inscription. Hutchinson, in his History of Cumberland, speaks with regret of the suppression of this well. In the beginning of the eighteenth century, one who knew St. Kentigern’s Well* at Bromfield, and who had a high idea of the use of such places, wrote a beautiful ballad of ten verses, from which are selected the three following:
Look north, look south, look east, look west,
The country smiles with plenty blest;
For every hill and plain and dell
Stands thick with corn round Helly Well.
To usher in the new-born May
The country round came here to play;
But Where’s the tongue or pen can tell
The feats then played at Helly Well?
Thrice happy people! long may ye
Enjoy your rural revelry;
And dire misrule and discord fell
Be far—O far—from Helly Well
St Kentigern is thought to have visited Bromfield in 553AD and performed baptisms in the well.
*St Kentigern is another name for St Mungo.