Ebbing and Flowing Well MYD36570 (c) YDNPA, 2023
This famous well is situated at the foot of Giggleswick Scar. The waters within it were reputed to rise and fall by as much as 2 metres and it became a tourist attraction in the Victorian era. Michael Drayton wrote a poem about it ascribing the ebbing and flowing to a nymph who was turned into a spring by the gods to escape the attentions of a satyr:
“They turned her to a spring, which as she then did pant,
When wearied with her cause her breath grew wondrous scant
Even as the fearful nymph, then thick and short did blow,
Now made by them a spring, so doth she ebb and flow”
Curiosity eventually got the better of some locals who excavated the well in an attempt to find out why the spring behaved as it did. Ever since the well has refused to perform.
www.bath.ac.uk/lispring/sourcearchive/front.htm – archive of Source, a journal that contains several articles about Yorkshire wells and springs by Edna Whelan