ANGEL
of Mawdesley

ABOUT OUR HISTORY

Angel of Mawdesley Water has an unequalled reported history of providing healing and health benefits to its users – the spring and its water properties and benefits have been the subject of numerous reports and commentary since Elizabethan times. 

In early commentaries in 1700, from a Doctor, the water (described as sulphurous and saline) was praised as providing healing benefits and cures for various ailments. The spring itself was famous and its water had such a beneficial mineral content that it was noted as having healed a lame woman who had applied the spring waters to her legs in 1839.

The first reference found regarding the Salt Pit Farm Spring and states: ‘There is a sulphurous water at Mawdesley, moderately saline, which is of great benefit to sickly people who are troubled with decline, or decay of internal parts’. The information on who conducted the survey is limited, but the name Gowan and the year 1689 are mentioned.

The history of Angel of Mawdesley Water

Below are extracts taken from publications written at the when the spring was first referenced and during it’s life when it was recognised for it’s alleged ‘healing waters’.

Click on the dates and titles below (in blue) to read more about the history of Angel of Mawdesley Water.

1700: Charles Leigh

Natural History of Lancashire, Cheshire

Around 1690, Charles Leigh, a physician visited the spring at Salt Pit Farm and documented in his journal comparisons about the water, to the then famous healing water springs and baths in Harrogate. These springs had already been recognised by Harrogate’s physicians as having healing powers that could cure a variety of ailments with patients advised to drink or bathe in the water to relieve their ailments. Leigh further continued to suggest that the Mawdesley spring be transformed into a public area , where patrons could bath and drink the water. Having similar qualities, it would allow nearby patrons to have their illnesses or ailments cured locally.

1700: Charles Leigh

1740: Dr. Thomas Short (click to read more)

The History of the Principle of Mineral Waters

Short will have visited the Mawdesley spring well around 1730. In his journal, he records an unsuccessful attempt to obtain salt from the field around 1612 with the area then being forgotten about until 1660 when two gentlemen attempted to conduct boring operations which were once again abandoned for an unknown reason. Short continues to comment on the high mineral content, especially sulphur, the medicinal qualities of the water and how it could benefit people who could both drink or bathe in the water. Short also recognised the water had previously cured cutaneous disorders and ulcers.

1740: Dr Thomas Short

1838 November: Preston Chronicle (click to read more)

Preston Chronicle

The recognition of the curative powers of the spring, and interest from physicians, led to a visit from a Preston Chronicle reporter. At the time of the visit, Thomas Joseph Trafford Esq. owned the land the spring occupied, leasing Salt Pit House to a William Occleshaw, who tended his livestock on the field the spring occupied. During the visit, Occleshaw explained to the reporter ‘that pigeons yet resort to the fountains in summer; that flocks of linnets visit it, and carry away water in their bills for their young; and that cows, on being first put to pasture in the field, immediately made to the spring, and drink with great avidity’. He then assured Short that ‘the disease of murrain has never been to visit the cattle on that farm’.

Murrain, literally meant death in those times and was an umbrella term for a multitude of now known illnesses including; rinderpest, erysipelas, foot-and-mouth, anthrax, and streptococcus infections, some of which could transfer to humans. These illnesses would always inevitably lead to death.

The physicians’ interest led to many medical men meeting at the field. After one such meeting, three doctors and a man from Liverpool returned the following day, with the latter gentleman, entering into a contract with Trafford to lease the field.Each of the medical men were excited about the water, all agreeing ‘that the water was equal to the famous Harrogate water’. They also expressed pity ‘that such a spring had been so long unknown and neglected’.

The Preston Chronicle report stated the spring had ‘recently been cleaned out, and that crowds of people continue to frequent it. It is therefore useless to make a journey to Harrogate, when such a fountain springs up at Mawdesley, in our own immediate neighbourhood, whose waters are declared by all to possess a healing in their draught’. This report reiterated what Leigh had predicted the previous century.

» Read the article

Preston Chronicle 1838 7th November

1839 March: Preston Chronicle (click to read more)

Preston Chronicle

The claims of curative powers continued. A woman named Ditchfield from Rufford, had been confined to crutches for seven years since her childhood, due to an accident causing injury to her leg and ankle. After hearing about the ‘Mawdesley Salt Pit’, she visited the spring to collect some water to use as a lotion on her leg injury. After a short period ‘she experienced great benefit from its use, and is now, to her great pleasure and astonishment, enabled to walk without crutches – and perform her work and journeys with the greatest ease and comfort’.

Preston Chronicle 1839 30th March

1839 April: Preston Chronicle (click to read more)

Preston Chronicle

The Preston Chronicle returned to the spring shortly after the report about Miss Ditchfield and witnessed four men boring down into the spring to allow the water to be drawn more quickly. The workmen had reached a depth of approximately 45 feet, reaching a stratum of white rock which they said was softer than some of the other substances through which they had bored.

The leader of the boring operations was unwilling to divulge what those other substances were, and the reporter noticed that the tools were covered with a white incrustation like boar frost. A Liverpool gentleman called Mr Neville, and a company of five or six others were investing £6000 which was a considerable amount of money in those days. The reporter also noticed evidence of previous boring operations that had probably failed in the past.

> Read the article

Preston Chronicle 13-04-1839

1840 July: Preston Chronicle (click to read more)

Preston Chronicle

On return nine months later, the reporter comments that the spring water had now been analysed and pronounced equal to other curative waters in England, that of Harrogate, and Cheltenham. The papers’ readers had all been made aware of the spring with the Preston Chronicle stating ‘many having experienced the healing powers themselves’.

The report continued to they ‘had heard some time about the exclusion of the public from availing themselves of its salubrious qualities; and it affords us great pleasure to have it in our power to record the determination of the owners of the estate to admit the public gratuitously to partake of the water’.

For unknown reasons, the Mawdesley Spring was covered over and all the information about the spring well ceased in the 1840’s. The landowner’s quest to keep the spring open to members of the public may have failed as no more written articles referencing the spring can be sourced.

Almost 180 years since the last recording of the spring, a new owner fascinated by the history of the well and the claims of healing benefits of water rich in minerals, was determined to find the historic spring that had generated so much interest – the spring was rediscovered and work has started on reopening the spring.

The original spring has been uncovered and cleared with the natural rocks from which the waters emerge exposed. Those rocks formed the shape of an Angel and from that discovery; the name of our water “Angel of Mawdesley” was selected.

Preston Chronicle 25th July 1840

1968: George Birtill (click to read more)

Follow Any Stream

Correlates with the previous paragraph and references of some boring shafts still present at Salt Pit Farm that dates back to 1962. The book also tells of a well of fresh water that never runs dry in front of the farm house. ‘Before water came out of taps…’ the author writes, ‘people journeyed miles to this well during droughts’.

history_followAnyStream

Rediscovering the spring

The spring had remained unnoticed and buried for over a century, with no reports of it since the 1840’s, until it’s history and benefits were brought to the attention of the current landowner.

The current landowner of the spring now wishes to share this water with the general public as Angel of Mawdesley ‘Revive’.

Angel of Mawdesley ‘Revive’ is unique: with its historical reports and articles about the spring setting out the benefits of the water, combined with the Angel rock formation at the core of the spring– the belief in its benefits are in our view well founded.

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Please note: Historical articles

The stories and reports setting out the history of healing are taken from historical records and newspaper articles from the previous four centuries. The reports were discovered in the local Harris Museum when we researched the history of the spring and historical texts.

We as a business are not saying Angel of Mawdesley ‘Revive’ can heal you. The belief is yours.