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Local folklore states that the steward of a neighboring landowner named Hugh Darcy argued with the prior, Father Delwaney, about access to the well and land boundaries. The two men got into a heated argument at which point Darcy apparently told Delwaney that the prior would likely not hold his important position much longer, before stomping back toward his master’s estate.
Soon thereafter the monks were apparently removed from the priory by the king’s men. On their way out they passed by the holy well where Father Delwaney saw Hugh Darcy (who seemed to be awaiting them and to have had an “understanding” with the commissioners taking the monks away). The prior was angered by Darcy’s appearance and possible role in the loss of the monastery and he said: “The curse of the serpent be on thee, thou spoiler of the Lord’s inheritance, thy ill-gotten gains shall not profit thee, and a year and a day shall not pass ere St. Anne thy head shall bruise.” Not long after placing this curse on Darcy, the prior fainted and then died.
The story continues by saying that Darcy wasted no time in gaining access to the farmlands around the holy well and tearing down the building made for the pilgrims who visited it. Although things seemed to be going smoothly at first Darcy “could not get rid of the strange foreboding of coming evil.” Three months later his son died of a mysterious illness and soon after he suffered heavy financial loss. The legend ends with Darcy disappearing after a night of drinking. His body was allegedly found beside the well where his head was crushed in.
This particular well, which lies between the townships of Rainhill and Sutton St. Helens (near Liverpool), likely dates to sometime in the late 14th or 15th century.
. Some Marian art was specifically produced to decorate the Marian churches built in this period. Major Italian artist with Marian motifs include: Fra Angelico, Donatello, Sandro Botticelli, Masaccio, Filippo Lippi, Piero di Cosimo Paolo Uccello Antonello da Messina Andrea Mantegna, Piero della Francesca and Carlo Crivelli. Dutch and German artists with Marian paintings include: Jean Bellegambe, Hieronymus Bosch, Petrus Christus, Gerard David (c.1455–1523), Hubert van Eyck, Geertgen tot Sint Jans, Quentin Matsys, Rogier van der Weyden, Albrecht Altdorfer, Hans Baldung and Albrecht Dürer. French and Spanish artists with Marian paintings include: Jean Fouquet, Jean Clouet, François Clouet, Barthélemy d'Eyck, Jean Hey (formerly known as the Master of Moulins), Bartolomé Bermejo, Ayne Bru, Juan de Flandes, Jaume Huguet, Paolo da San Leocadio. Francis of Assisi is credited with setting up the first known presepio or crèche (Nativity scene). He was also particularly devoted to Christ's passion and crucifixion. The influence of the Franciscans gave rise to a more affective spirituality. Around the time of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 many Orthodox monks fled to the West, bringing with them traditions of iconography. Depictions of the Madonna and Child can be traced to the Eastern Theotokos.
Saint Anne with Mary as a child. Although the canonical books of the New Testament never mention the parents of the Virgin Mary (Luke 3:23 names Mary's father as Heli), traditions about her family, childhood, education, and eventual betrothal to Joseph developed very early in the history of the church. The oldest and most influential source for these is the apocryphal Protevangelium of James, first written in Greek around the middle of the second century. In the West, the Protevangelium fell under a cloud in the fourth and fifth centuries when it was accused of "absurdities" by St. Jerome and condemned as untrustworthy by Popes Damasus I, Innocent I, and Gelasius I.
A newspaper columnist in the last century wrote that a well or spring with this dedication once existed near Penwortham Church. It was certainly not in use in 1883 as in that year, a Canon of the church is quoted as saying that Saint Mary's Well was the only supply of fresh, clean water available to the population of Penwortham. There is, however, a map which shows a well with this dedication on the opposite bank of the Ribble from the church - in other words, in Preston, in the area now concreted over by the docks. If the map is correct, this well could be the 'Spaw Baths' mentioned earlier, or a completely different one.
i suppose all these wells could be considered cursed in that their former importance is now forgotten and they are neglected, or perhaps it is simply the people that are cursed.