St. Margarets, Binsey

A short walk (500m) from Port Meadow and the Perch is St Margarets. A 12th century church built on the site of a Saxon church (and perhaps a pagan area of worship before that). In the church yard are beautiful yew trees and, most importantly, St Margaret's well: a focus of pilgrimage since St. Frideswide (who at the time was taking time out to be a swineherd) cured lightning-induced blindness by using the water from the well. The water is thought to have curative properties and apparently the crutches of cured cripples once adorned the church. The well is down a couple of steps in the graveyard and its proximity to surrounding graves made me reluctant to drink from it.

The well is thought to be the 'treacle well' referred to in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by [Lewis Carroll]?- the day I visited there was no sign of the three sisters—Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie—learning to draw things starting with 'M'.

Inside the church there is a useful short guide to the history of the St Margarets by David Clark.

When leaving the Perch, or taking the road from near the Rainbow bridge, turn right and follow the road for approximately 500m.

A nice addition to a circumnavigation of Port Meadow and a quiet peaceful place worth a visit if you're in the area or have lightning-induced blindness.

OS X co-ord: 448590     OS Y co-ord: 208045     (Latitude: 51.768518 Longitude: -1.295767)
Last edited 2004-11-01 01:51:48 (version 5; diff). List all versions.