A mossy grotto alongside the south bank riverside path a little way east of Cox Green, a hamlet on the River Wear, about 5 miles out of Sunderland. Water drips from the roof and walls, forms pools on the floor.
I call it the Wishing Well because I came across reference to it by that name in someone’s memoirs of the 1930s published in the local paper. Its not otherwise refered to in any source that I’ve yet found, though maybe for others it has significance – on one visit I found a carefully constructed daisy-chain floating in the pool.
It’s really a well under threat – the roof of the grotto seems to consist entirely oif soil, held together by the roots of the trees growing on the bank above. Sooner or later the elements will conspire to bring the whole lot down, and the grotto will be gone, or at best extremely truncated.
Oh, and it works !
I presented a silver coin to the well spirit, made my wish (I wont divulge its nature) and within an hour my wish had been granted.
Spanish Sunday is an old name for Palm Sunday in the English Midland counties, and in parts of the West riding of Yorkshire.
It’s derived from a children’s custom that flourished there as recently as the first two decades of the 20th century, and of which traces may still remain in a few districts.
A sweet drink was made for the festival from broken pieces of Spanish liquorice, peppermint or lemon sweets, brown sugar, and well-water. The solid ingredients were put into glass bottles on the previous evening, and a little water was added to make a thick, rich sediment.
On Palm Sunday morning, the children went to some local holy or wishing-well, walked round it once (or in some places three times) and then filled the bottles with its water. Almost every region had some particular spring which was visited for this purpose, and to it children came from surrounding parishes in quite considerable numbers.
When the bottles were filled, they were vigorously shaken, and as soon as the sweet sediment was sufficiently dissolved to flavour the water, the ‘Spanish’ drink was ready to use.
For more on this subject, view the thread dedicated to it on the Holy Wells & Water Lore Forum – here.