About Lady's Well
'Lady's Well' or St Ninian's Well, is situated a little to the north of the village of Holystone in Coquetdale. The site is owned by the National Trust.
The powerful spring is said to discharge 560 gallons a minute and flows into a stone lined pool surrounded by trees. The current layout is the result of extensive restoration in 1788 when the tank was repaired, the walls rebuilt and a statue intended to represent St Paulinus erected on a pedestal in the centre of the basin. The statue was moved to the south-west end in 1861-62 and replaced by a simple wheel cross in the centre of the pool.
This well has been associated with the site where King Edwin and 3000 others were baptised by St. Paulinus on Easter Day 627; however more recent evidence suggest that this event was more likely to have occurred at York. Such 'saintly associations' could be very lucrative for religious institutions, attracting pilgrims and pious donations. The construction of the stone tank and the origins of the historical tradition linking it with St Paulinus may be associated with the activity of the Augustinian nunnery of Holystone. The convent was never a wealthy institution - quite the opposite, and no trace now remains of it.
The well's orientation and proximity to an ancient Roman road may even imply an even earlier date, possibly as a rural shrine.
The clear pool lies silent amongst a small grove of beech and yew trees, a very peaceful and atmospheric place to spend some time.