The Roots of Runwell and the Running Well Mystery

Andrew Collins,

The oldest reference to Runwell comes from the Cartularium saxonicum, an Anglo-Saxon document which dates to AD 939. It takes the form of a grant made by King Athelstan to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's cathedral church, London , of 12 mansions, or farms, to the principal manor of 'Runewelle'.( Cartularium saxonicum, 737, ed. Birch, London, 1885-93)

Place of Secret Council
It has often been suggested that the place-name 'Runewell' derives from two components - 'rune' and 'welle'. The latter is the Old English word for a spring or stream, while the first element, run, refers to a 'secret', 'mystery' or place of 'secret council'.(Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, s.v. 'Runwell', p. 397.) As Professor Ekwall, the accomplished Scandinavian etymologist, observed in this respect, the prefix alludes to 'a spring or stream at which a meeting-place was, or rather to a wishing well.'(Ibid.) In other words, there is evidence in the parish as early as AD 939 of a notable water source that gave its name to the Saxon settlement of Runwell.

There is, however, another possible solution to the origin of Runwell's name. The Essex historian and noted etymologist P. H. Reaney proposed in 1935 that the first element might stem from the 'lost OE [Old English] hruna "tree-trunk".'(Reaney, The Place Names of Essex, s.v. 'Runwell', pp. 265-6). This is an interesting proposal, for in Anglo-Saxon myth and legend trees were associated with wells. However, since the original Anglo-Saxon form of the Old English run is spelt with an 'e', the way it appears in various early documents mentioning Runwell, I believe that this line of enquiry is flawed, and that Ekwall's more obvious solution is adequate.

Some idea of the usage of the expression 'rune' in a place-name can be determined by its etymological use in Runnymede, in Surrey, which according to Ekwall derives its name from the Old English 'council island, [or] assembly island'.(Ibid., s.v. 'Runnymede', p. 396) This would seem to be an apt description, for it was here in 1215 that a secret council of knights persuaded King John to sign the Magna Carta, a charter that gave the lords more control in running the country.

The Doomsday Survey
Little more can be discerned from the Cartularium saxonicum, and it is not until after the Norman Conquest of 1066 that we hear mention of Runwell again. It is mentioned on three occasions in the Doomsday Book, the survey commissioned in 1086 by the Norman king William the Conquerer in order to determine the extent and value of all manors and properties in England.

I have already alluded to the grant of lands in Runwell's chief manor made by King Athelstan to the Dean and Chapter at St Paul's, London. These, it would seem, were seized at the time of the Conquest, but afterwards were restored 'to God, St Paul, and their Servants' by the Conqueror. At the time St Paul's is said to have held in Runwell 'six cassatas, or habitations, with land to maintain so many families; or so many hides'.(Morant, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex, p. 41)

The extent of St Paul's influence in the parish is outlined in the Doomsday Book, which states that it 'held Runwell for 8 hides',(13b, 9) with a hide consisting usually of 12 acres. More specifically, the survey records that their estate has:

Always 8 villagers; 8 smallholders. Then [before the time of Conquest] 2 slaves, now 1. Then 3½ ploughs in lordship, now the same. Then among the men 2½ ploughs. Woodland, 200 pigs. 2 cobs, 1 (head of) cattle, 8 pigs, 100 sheep. Value always £8.(13b, 9)

These figures refer not to the population of the manor, only those individuals with specific duties such as 'villagers' and 'smallholders', while the figures relating to farm animals record not their number but the extent of woodland or pasture set aside for their cultivation.

The Doomsday Books uses the spelling 'Runewell',(13b, 9) the manner used in the Cartularium saxonicum. Further on in the Doomsday Book, in the section which records the Essex lands granted by King William to Count Eustace of Boulogne, the brother-in-law of the late king Edward the Confessor (d. 1066), we find that a lord named Lambert is said to hold a manor in 'Runewella … from the Count, which Leofstan held before 1066 as a manor, for 1 hide. Engelric [the Count's predecessor in many of his lands] annexed this.'(31b. 53) This single hide is recorded as having had two smallholders in 1066, and three at the time of the survey. In addition to this the entry states that there was: 'Always 1 plough. Woodland, 50 pigs; meadow, 2 acres. 13 cattle, 20 pigs, 36 sheep. Value 20 s',' that is shillings.(Ibid.) This second manor in Runwell would appear to have been one eighth the size of that held by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's.

The very next entry in the Doomsday Book records the existence of a third manor in 'Runeuuella', as it is spelt, granted also to Count Eustace at the time of the Conquest. It consisted of four hides and was held by one Adelulf, although before 1066 it had belonged to an Anglo-Saxon named Edeva, from whom Engelric also annexed it.(31b, 54) In this case we are told that the manor had previously supported '4 smallholders, now 5; then 2 slaves, now 1. Then and later ½ plough in lordship, now 2½. Always ½ men's plough. Woodland, 80 pigs. Value then and later 100s; now £6.(Ibid.)

Lambert and Adelulf were probably local lords, the former a Norman and the latter an Anglo-Saxon. With these six hides and the eight held by St Paul's, it is clear that Runwell occupied a substantial area from the outset. However, from the Doomsday Book alone, it is impossible to define exactly its original manorial boundaries, although these are likely to correspond very well with medieval parish still recognised today.

All that can be said with any certainty about Runwell is that by c. 1181, the date of the first rector, a church existed somewhere in the parish; even though there is no evidence of a building on the present site until at least the thirteenth century. Yet this tells us nothing whatsoever about the location of the well that gave the parish its name. Since all three manors were to be found in 'Runewella', there is no indication as to which, if any, of these contained the all-important spring that in Anglo-Saxon times gave its name to the parish.

Morant's Magnum Opus
In medieval times the name of the parish would alter on many occasions. Other variations of the name include 'Runewell',(Ekwall, s.v. 'Runwell', p. 397, c.f. Curia Regis Rolls, 1203, get), 'Rom(e)well',(Reaney, The Place Names of Essex, s.v. 'Runwell, pp. 265-6, cf. 1272, 1285 Ass.), 'Renewell'(Ibid., cf. 1291 For, 1299 Cl, 1374 Orig.) and 'Rowndell'(Ibid., 1547 FF) before eventually it settled as 'Runwell'. Somehow the core elements of rune and well were retained across the generations, preserving the meaning of the name. Despite this small mercy, no additional facts are given with respect to the all-important well behind the name. Never is its location, history or mythology ever mentioned in early documents, a situation that prevailed in 1768 when the celebrated Essex historian Philip Morant saw the publication of his classic work The History of the County of Essex. In some detail this precious work records what is known about every Essex manor and every family who lived in the county, providing a reasonable description of the buildings and funerary monuments to be found therein.

With respect to Runwell, Morant states boldly that it 'undoubtedly received its name from some considerable Running Well in the parish.'(Morant, p. 41) This is a startling opening line which raises more questions than it answers. Was he alluding simply to the fact that the name presumes the existence of a 'Running Well', which gave its name to the original settlement, or had he been alluding to the existence of a known site which bore this title? The fact that he refers to 'some considerable Running Well' would suggest initially the former solution. However, since he writes 'Running Well' in upper and lower case, it could imply that this is an actual location, even though the etymology of Runwell does not seemingly derive its name from the word 'run', as in 'running'. Yet, as we shall see, this form of the name might well have been applied to the well around the beginning of the seventeenth century (see below).

Morant makes no further mention of this 'considerable Running Well'. Instead, he goes on to outline the history of the three manors of Runwell. From the chief of these, the one belonging to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, stemmed, he says, the medieval manor of Runwall Hall, while from the two held by Count Eustace of Boulogne, and under him Lambert and Adelulf, stemmed, respectively, the manors of Sandon and Flemings.

Runwell Hall
Beginning with the Runwall Hall estate, Morant informs us that it was retained by St Paul's until December 1546, when it was granted by Henry VIII to 'Sir Antony Brown, Elizabeth his wife, and their heirs'.(Morant, p. 41) However, after the death of the king the following month, the lands would still seem to have remained in the possession of St Paul's, for in year one of the reign of Henry's successor, Edward VI, the Dean and Chapter are recorded as having exchanged 'Ronewell' for, among other things, a manor at Mucking in the same county.(Morant, p. 41, cf. MS. of lands exchanged by the Crown for others, p. 63) At the time their lands in Runwell were valued at 37 l. 10 shillings. Subsequently, the manor fell into the hands of Edward Lord Clinton, who in May 1553 granted it to Sir John Gate. However, by this time we were in the troubled reign of the Catholic queen Mary I, or Bloody Mary as she was known, which would account for why the manor was seized by the Crown and granted forthwith to 'Susanna Tong, alias Clarencieux, widow, first Lady of her [Mary's] Bed-chamber.'(Morant, p. 41).

After the death of its latest owner the lands were granted to her brother's son, one George White, and his heirs, who also held manors in the Essex parishes of Hutton, Thundersley, Rivenhall and Rawreth.(pp. 41-2) It continued in his family until 1679, when another George White sold it to Mr Simon Rogers, who was said to have been a 'citizen of London, but a native of Leicestershire'.(Morant, p. 42) It remained in their family there after and was under the ownership of a George Rogers from Mile End, London, at the time that Morant wrote his book.(Ibid.)

The only additional information given about Runwell Hall is that the 'mansion' of this name stood 'about one mile from the Church'.(Morant, p. 41) Today its site has been lost. However, it is generally believed to have been located at the end of a road known as The Chase on the site now occupied by Runwell Hospital.

The Lost Manor of Sandon
The second manor reviewed by Morant is that of Sandon, which he supposes took its name from a gentleman named Sandon, known to have held an estate in the parish of Rawreth during the reign of King Henry III.(p. 42) The Essex historian tells us that the site of the estate was lost, even in his day, although he proposes that it was probably 'one of the two Fees holden, in 1210 and 1211, by Simon de Merk, in Ronewell, and Dunmow. The latter is to this day known by the name of Merks.'(Morant, p. 42, cf. Lib. Rub. Fol. 20) Indeed, there is still an ancient track in the north-east corner of the parish called Marks Lane, which probably preserves the former location of the lost manor house.

The estate of Sandon remained in the hands of the de Merk family through until the second half of the fourteenth century. However, Morant was unable to follow its progress after this time, and simply cites the fact that King Henry VIII granted an estate in Runwell to Cardinal Wolsey, 'which doth not appear to have been any other than this.'(Morant, p. 42)

The History of Flemings
Lastly, Morant turns his attentions to Runwell's other main manor - that of Flemings, or 'Flemyng's' as he refers to it. This, he tells us, 'derived its name from an ancient Family of that name, whose seat it was. The mansion house stands at a distance from the Church, and was formerly very large, but most of it is pulled down.'(Morant, p. 42) He was, of course, referring to the present Flemings Farm, which is the remnants of a brick manor house built around 1500.

The first recorded owner of Flemings was Robert Fleming, who lived here, along with his wife Alice, in 1327, the first year in the reign of Edward III (1312-1377).(Morant, p. 42, Pedes Finium, 1 Ed. III) They are mentioned together in connection with a fine paid between them and one Roger of Dorkcester 'of the manor of Ronewell' in connection with the advowson of the church.(Ibid.) There was also a John Fleming during this king's reign, a Robert at the time of Richard II (1366-1400), a Thomas in the reign of Hery IV, a Sir Thomas who died in 1464 during the reign of Edward IV, and a John who was the latter's son and heir and just 15 when his father died.(Ibid, age of John Fleming on his father's death, cf. Inquit. 4 Edw. IV)

Morant informs us that, aside from a manor at Great Sutton and the advowson of St Mary's, Runwell, John held 'this manor of the Church of St Paul',(Ibid, p. 42) which is a very curious statement. Certainly, the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's held the principal manor of Runwell Hall, but there is no mention of them in connection with the manor of Flemings. Was Morant wrong, or confused in his facts, or did St Paul's also command some kind of control over a second manor in the parish during this time?

John Fleming died without a male heir but did leave behind three sisters, Constantia, Blanch and Anne, who became his co-heirs. Yet it was the last mentioned, Anne, who through marriage brought the manor into the ownership of the Sulyard, or Sulliard, family of Eye in Suffolk. A Sir William Sulyard gained control of Flemings in Runwell, and his son, Sir John Sulyard received it after his father's death.

The estate then passed through several generations of Sulyards until 1692, when their last heir Edward Sulyard died unmarried on 7 November 1692, aged 72. It then passed into the hands of his two nieces, one of whom, Anne, married Charles Parker, evidently the son of an eminent physician in London, who took possession of Flemings. His son, also named Charles, succeeded him. However, it was through the other niece, Dorothy, that the estate passed into the hands of John Tyrell of Billericay in Essex, who married her daughter Mary. They had two sons John and Charles, the former of which held Flemings at the time Morant was writing.

Little else is said about Runwell. Morant notes one or two other holders of land in the parish, as recorded in medieval documents. He makes mention of almshouses (one near the church and another nearby at Rettendon Common) and then describes, very briefly the church. He adds that the advowson of the church 'hath been long appendent to the manor of Flemyngs'.(Morant, p. 43) This is curious, since it implies that, in late medieval times the church was connected more with the manor of Flemings than with the chief manor of Runwall Hall, held by the Dean and Chapter of St Pauls.

Essentially, this is Morant's valuable contribution to the history of Runwell. We learn no further about the 'considerable Running Well' that gave its name to the parish, nor do we gain any indication in which manor it might be situated. This does not come until the publication in 1896 of an article in The Essex Review (see below) which connects it with a notable spring on the Flemings Farm estate, some 300 metres from Poplars Farm, which is known today as the Running Well.

On Wellstone Hill
What we do know is that by 1772 the land on which this gushing spring is situated belonged to Mrs Mary Rogers, presumably the widow of Simon Rogers, the owner of the Runwell Hall estate when Morant wrote his history of Essex. We know this because an accounts book for the Manor of Runwell compiled in this year and detailing the acreage of each field records that among those under the tenancy of Mr James Hardy of Giffords Firm are Lower and Upper Wellstone Hill.

This accounts book is currently lodged with the Essex Records Office at Chelmsford as document number D/Dge M274A. An accompanying plan of the farm shows that the former is the field to the south of the well, while the latter is the one directly to its east. More significantly, the entry for Lower Wellstone Hill adds 'in which is a fine spring called the well'. Looking across to the map we can see the well marked as a circular dot in the upper north-west corner of the field, directly above which is the picture of a five-bar gate allowing entry from Shopland, the field-name to the north.

Giffords Farm, which dates to the sixteenth-century, is located on Warren Road, some quarter of a mile north-north-west of the well. According to the map, the field on the edge of which it is situated forms one of ten leased from the Runwell Hall estate during this time. Exactly how long this tenancy had been in place remains unclear, although this information makes it clear that the Running Well was then under the tenancy of the manor of Runwell Hall, which had been held by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, London, prior to 1553. Exactly how long this had been so, and when it switched to being the ownership, of Flemings Farm is unknown.

What the accounts book and accompanying map of 1772 do prove, however, is that the site known today as the Running Well must predate this era. The fact that it was known in the document simply as The Well does not decry its greater antiquity. It merely shows that by this time, the age of reason and scientific logic, it served primarily as a place from which to draw 'fine' spring water. More revealing are the field names - Lower and Upper Wellstone Hill. How old these might be may never be known, but often they preserve some semblance of knowledge regarding local history and topography.

A 'wellstone' place-name implies the presence of a well or spring, of this we can be sure. Yet the suffix 'stone' is a more enigmatic problem. Firstly, it is thought to be a corruption of the Old English tun, meaning a manor, as in Kingstone Winslow in Berkshire, which Ekwall believed derived its name from the 'the king's TUN'.(Ekwall, s.v. 'Kingstone Winslow', p. 278) Secondly, it can relate to a pagan stone or mark stone, such as Kingston in Somerset, which Ekwall thought derived its name from 'the king's stone'.(Ekwall, s.v. 'Kingstone', p. 278)

Since it is unlikely that the hill on which 'the Well' of 1772 is situated derives its name from a now lost manor, and no evidence of a pagan stone or mark stone has ever come to light here, we must look for another explanation. I sought advice from a book entitled English Field Names by the aptly named John Field, published in 1989.

According to him 'stone' place-names, taken from the either the Old English stan or Old Norse steinn, allude to 'land with stony soil, or from which stone was excavated, or adjoining stone buildings'.(Field, p. 221) Let us examine each of these components in turn, and see which if any might fit the scenario. The fields identified in 1772 as Lower and Upper Wellstone Hill do contain flint nodules, dragged up by the blades of the plough from the river gravels which lay beneath the deep clay levels. Yet these are found only in minimal quantities and are hardly likely to have given the hill its name.

Could the fields have been where stone was excavated? Certainly not naturally at least. Essex is devoid of any rock deposits, save for the occasional outcrop of chalk in the north-east and south of the county, as well as the occasional scattering of large stone boulders found mostly in the north of the county. These so-called glacial erratics would have been left behind by the retreating ice fields at the end of the last Ice Age. Thus it is unlikely that the place-name derived from the removal of natural stone deposits. Perhaps we should look for another alternative explanation to this mystery.

Kink in the Field
The plan of Giffords Farm from 1772 shows a rectangular kink in the field boundary just beneath of the location of the Well in Lower Wellstone Field. From the size indicated on the plan it is eight poles (44 yards/40 metres) in length and five poles (30 yards/27.5 metres) in width. Its shape belies the former presence there of a building, or an enclosure surrounding a building, which no longer existed at the time of the survey. Since the nearest building structure to the well is Poplars Farm, located some 300 metres to the north-west, the nature of any such building so close to the well begs further attention. Could it be possible that Wellstone Hill derived its name not from loose masonry removed from a ruin which had stood formerly in the corner of Lower Wellstone Field? If so, had it been attached in some way to the well?

The only other field-names which took my attention in the 1772 plan were Shopland, the field that abuted the well to the north, and Lower Stone Hill, which lies due south of Lower Wellstone Hill. The former derives its name most probably from the Old England sceoppa, meaning a 'shed',(Field, p. 201) implying once again that some sort of building structure was located here, while the latter takes us back to the origin of the other 'stone' place-names.

Little more could be determined from the Runwell Hall estate's accounts book of 1772. Yet of interest is that the very same information is also recorded in a document lodged with the Essex Records Office and written the same year entitled the 'Measurement of the manor of Runwell containing near all the Parish of Runwell in the County of Essex including the Demesne lands the Property of Mrs Mary Rogers'.(Essex Records Office document ref. D/Dge M157) It too lists the various fields under the tenancy of Mr James Hardy of Giffords Farm, including Lower and Upper Wellstone Hill, with the same reference to the former containing 'a fine Spring called the Well'.

From the same survey of 1772 derives Runwell's oldest estate map, commissioned by one Thomas Boddington, who would seem to have come into possession of the Runwell Hall estate after the departure of Mrs Mary Rogers. Dated 1774, this map is housed in the Essex Records Office, where it can be consulted by visitors. Like the previous documents dated to 1772 it lists the various fields under the tenancy of Giffords Farm and makes reference to the 'Fine Spring called the Well'. Once again this is marked in the north-west corner of Lower Wellstone Hill, next to which is the word 'Well'. Also in similar with the plan for Giffords Farm included in the accounts book for 1772, the Boddington map of 1774 shows a rectangular kink marked out by hedgerow in the field boundary just beneath the position of the well, again suggesting the former presence here of a building.

A Change of Name
We learn no more about the Well until 1812 when another assessment of the lands belonging to the Runwell Hall Estate was undertaken on behalf of the owners.(Essex Records Office No. D/Dge M274A) In an accounts book dating to this year we find that the field names surrounding the well have undergone a change. Lower Wellstone Hill in which the spring it situated now becomes Well Field for the first time, while Upper Wellstone Hill, which lies to the east, becomes 'Furz Field', modern Furze Field. The name denotes 'land on which gorse grew', from the Old English fyrs or fyrsen.(Field, p.85) Furze, gorse or 'whim' are colloquial names for the plant Ulex europaeus, common to the English landscape.

Lower Wellstone Hill was changed to Well Field most probably for convenience. Yet in doing so the emphasis on the 'stone' connection was lost. Perhaps the need to retain this aspect of the name was no longer necessary, and that the stone extracted from the field had long since been exhausted.

No estate map or plan accompanied the survey of 1812, and we would have to wait until 1845 for the first ever 'tithe award map' of the parish.(Essex Records Office No. D/CT 303A.) This covera the whole of Runwell and an accompanying register recorded each and every field name and who owned it. Nothing new is revealed, although Well Field and Lower Well Field, situated to its south, are recorded as being owned by Thomas Kemble, the holder of the Runwell Hall Estate, with the tenant being one John Salmon. Shoplands, Furze Field and others, although also owned by Thomas Kemble, are now under the tenancy of one Thomas Tuckwell.

There is no mention on the 1845 map of the previously mentioned site known as 'the Well'. Yet the small triangular piece of ground in which it was undoubtedly situated is named as the 'Shaw', an Old English word meaning a small copse. In the accompanying register this is ascribed to the ownership of Thomas Kemble, with the tenant being John Salmon. It is given as having an area of 19 poles (104.5 yards/95.5 metres).

The only other additional point of interest to be gleaned from the 1845 'tithe award map' is that the Runwell Hall estate had by this time come into the possession of Poplars Farm and Cowhouse Field, which stretches between Well Field and the farm. Yet beyond it the land still belonged to Flemings Farm, then under the ownership of Sir John Tyrell.

Enter the Ordnance Survey
On the Ordnance Survey map of 1896 there is a roughly rectangular feature orientated north-south, outlined in black, marked in the north-west corner of Well Field, next to which is the word 'Spring'.(OS, 1896, 61:13) One can only presume that the feature is the 'shaw' recorded on the 1845 'tithe awards map'. Converging on the 'Spring' from two directions are footpaths - one running along the western edge of Shoplands, and originating almost certainly at Giffords Farm, and the other running from Poplars Farm across Cowhouse Field. Both of these footpaths were unquestionably rights of way for the tenants of the two farms to obtain running water.

In the Ordnance Survey map of 1898 two footpaths, one from Poplars Farm and the other from Giffords Farm, are again shown crossing fields to a ringed circle located in the north-west corner of Well Field and marked once again as 'Spring'. What is interesting about this edition is that its contours show for the first time that the well is situated at one of the highest points in the parish. It shows that an area which encompasses Giffords Farm down to the north-eastern extents of Well Field lie at a level of 200 feet (61 metres), with an ultimate highpoint of 201 feet being recorded some 400 metres west-north-west of the farm.(Ordnance Survey, 2nd edition, 1898, 61:61, Runwell.)

The Essex Review
Two years before the publication of the Ordnance Survey map of 1898, what is arguably the single most important article on Runwell was published in The Essex Review, a respected historical journal of its era. Written by the noted historian Frederick Chancellor, it outlined the known history of the parish as well as the architectural features of the church of St Mary.

It is how Chancellor opens his article that is of most interest to this debate, for he asserts that: 'Runwell, or Runewelle, or Ronewelle, as it is spelt in ancient records, derives its name, Morant tells us, from some considerable running well in the parish.'(Chancellor, Essex Churches: XVIII - St, Mary the Virgin, Runwell, The Essex Review, Vol. V, nos., 19,20, pp. 129-142, p. 129.) This much we know. However, he then goes on to state that: 'There is still a remarkable spring of water on Poplar's Farm, which is always running and has never been known to fail. Mr. Kemble remembers the time when there was only one other well in the parish, consequently pure drinking water had to be fetched from some distance by many of the inhabitants.'(Ibid.)

Thus we can see for the first time why in 1772 the well in the corner of Lower Wellstone Hill was described as 'a fine spring called the well'. According to Chancellor it was 'always running' and had 'never been known to fail'. It was quite obviously a very important place for obtaining water renowned throughout the parish. Indeed, according to Thomas Kemble, its owner, it was one of only two main wells in the parish.

Rightly or wrongly, Chancellor associated the 'considerable running well' attributed by Morant to the naming of the parish with the 'fine spring known as the well' situated on the Runwell Hall estate and in 1896 held under a tenancy by the occupants of Poplars Farm.

The Rev. J E Bazille-Corbin

Aside from the work of Morant and Chancellor, very little was done on the history of Runwell parish until after the institution of the Rev. John Edward Bazille-Corbin as parish priest in 1923. This colourful member of the clergy took a considerable interest in the manorial and religious origins of the parish and spent many years compiling a book entitled: 'Runwell S. Mary: A farrago of History, Archaeology, Legend and Folk-lore, collected and pieced together during an incumbency of many years'. Although the book was not made available in manuscript form until 1950, it had been completed as early as 1940 when it is known to have been submitted to the architectural historian, archaeologist and author Frederick Bligh-Bond for editorial suggestions.

Corbin's background as a member of various fringe and unorthodox religious organisations gave him a keen interest in what might be described as antiquarianism - the art of amateur archaeology mixed with a keen interest in folklore and legends. Having learnt of the existence of the gushing spring situated close to Poplars Farm and having read the accounts of the parish by Morant and Chancellor, he took it upon himself to investigate the well further, which he described 'as a deep elliptical hole with an overflow, … situated at the highest spot in the parish and at a point where three fields meet. It is fed by a spring which has never [been] known to fail. At present it is very much overgrown and badly needs dredging out and cleaning.'(Corbin, p. 5)

He went to say that: 'In early times the lands which make up Poplars-and-Gifford's Farm, formed part of the Sulyard estate, but soon after that family became extinct, that is, by the end of the seventeenth century, we find it included in that of Runwell Hall.'(Ibid.)

There are no historical records which might suggest that Giffords Farm was ever in the possession of the Sulyards estate, although it is true that Poplars Farm belonged to them before falling into the hands of Thomas Kemble of Runwell Hall sometime prior to 1845. What is more revealing about Bazille-Corbin's historical tome is that from the outset he refers to the spring in question as 'the Running Well', a name he championed based on the single reference in Morant to Runwell gaining its name from 'some considerable Running Well' in the parish.

The Rev. H K Harris and the Durden Note of 1602
Did therefore the modern term 'Running Well' derive exclusively from the writings of the Rev. Bazille Corbin? Actually, the answer seems to be 'no' for it appears to have been mentioned within an entry in the Runwell parish register for the year 1602.

As the self appointed historian of Runwell, the Rev. Bazille-Corbin made contact with a former rector named Henry Kingsford Harris, whose incumbency ran from 20th September 1891 to 21st March 1912. He was by this time retired and lived at 58 Madrid Road, London SW13. Bazille-Corbin had requested from him details of how whole pages had come to be removed from the parish register. What came back was the transcript of a missing entry made in 1602 by one Robert Durden, a future rector who arrived in the parish on behalf of the Bishop of London. It concerned the banned activities of Catholic recusants in connection with a holy well, as well as the existence thereabouts of a stone chapel once tended by a line of anchorite nuns, the last of whom was a surviving member of the Sulyard family.

Due to the severe importance of this correspondence I will do as Bazille-Corbin did and quote in full the initial letter response from Kingsford Harris and the attached transcript of the parish register (copies of the original correspondence were obtained from the Rev. Bazille-Corbin's son Christopher, who lives at Cooksmill Green, near Chelmsford):

58, Madrid Road,
S. W. 13
Riverside 0659
July 16th 1931.

Dear Mr. Corbin,

In reply to your query as to how and when the many excisions in the old register occurred, you will, of course, have seen the note on the inside of the cover stating after having been missing for many years the book was discovered and returned to us. We had it back when I was quite a lad and was taking, at that time, a great interest, though I confess of a very amateurish kind, in everything archaeological, especially if it had reference to Essex. So it was that I came to copy out, for my own diversion, various little scraps, which interested me, from the register - e. g. , the first baptism it recorded, the first marriage and burial, the entries relating to the Sulyard family (remarkably few, strange to say), and so on. My Father and later myself, over and over again, lent the register out to friends, and, I fear, at times, to the merest acquaintances, whenever anyone showed the slightest desire to borrow it for examination, and such folk, owing perhaps to its rediscovery rather than to any actually noteworthy entries it contained, were many. Between whiles it was always kept locked away and we hardly ever opened it ourselves. What was my horror when some time after having become Rector, I did have occasion to look into it, to discover that numerous portions of pages had been cut clean out, and several entire sheets, as it seemed to me, were missing.
Of one of these latter, which, I can see, is very pertinent to the matter in which you are so much interested, I have fortunately just come across my original transcript.

It had been stowed away for years with some rubbish and is so tattered and blurred that I have typed it out and enclose it now.

Whether I have got Durden's spelling exact I don't know. In any case this isn't a great matter. It seems to have been, if I remember, the longest of the one or two notes which he made, and was in his really beautiful handwriting, and, by its date, must have been written a year or two before he was Rector.
If I should find anything else here of a like interest I will certainly let you have it, but in moving house so much gets destroyed and lost that I am afraid I shall not do so.

With kindest regards from us both,
Yours sincerely

H.K. Harris

Along with the letter H. K. Harris had included the all-important transcript of the entry into the Runwell parish register made in 1602, which reads as follows:

On the XVIII day of July in this yeare 1602, I, Robert Dureden, as bid of my Lorde Bischoppe in hys letter, did ride by the bridel path and the greene lane to visitt the place of the schrine of the Bl. Virgin of the Runnynge Welle to the ende that I might advertise my Lorde as to the condicion and repaire thereof.
My testimonie to my Lorde is that the little stone chappelle is muche decayed, the more so than when I laste was come thither. The roofe be bow fallen inne and the easte walle muche broken down and the paviment of collored tyles utterlye taken away.

The holye springe methinks is yet superstitiously missused by some in the parisshe who resorte thither on certain olde feste daies now abolysshed for purposes diverse other than for to draw water for drynkynge or for their ...stes. The cherrie trees and the oakes one tyme aboute the welle be all raized a long whyle gone.
The nunnerie house of timber and plaister is dwelled inne by Sr Edwd. Sulliard his bay liffe, to whom I did also that same daie at Flemings paie my respectes ere I did go home. Atte the manoir is lodged by Sr Edwd and hys Ladye, Mistresse Bridgette Forster hys auntt, though Sr Edwed avowes that she be aged fulle ninety and foure yeres. Thys Mistresse Bridgett be the laste heade or prioresse of the nunnes house and hathe even yette her pensionne of our soveraigne ladge rge Queen, albeitr a recusante and stiffe in Papystrie.

The reader can well imagine my thoughts when I first read both the letter from H. Kingsford Harris and his attached typescript of the entry in the parish register.
The implications of this second-hand account, claimed to have been copied from an original dated 1602, is self apparent. It implies that the spring was known in Durden's day as the 'Runnynge Welle'. Moreover, it was the focus of religious devotion in the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, echoing the veneration paid to the shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham in Norfolk. Nearby is said to have been a stone chapel tended by a line of prioresses housed in a nunnery, identified by the Rev. Bazille-Corbin in his history of the parish as located at nearby Poplars Farm. In addition to these facts, we are told that the last head, or 'prioresse', of the nunnery house was Lady Bridget Forster, an aunt of Sir Edward Sulyard of Flemings Farm.

The authentication of these statements lies in verifying the contents of the letter apparently written by the Rev. Henry Kingsford Harris in 1931. Certainly, we know that Runwell's old church register did indeed come into his possession around the time of his incumbency. It had been rediscovered in 1870 by the Rev. W. Stubbs, the vicar of St James, Pentonville, among the archives of the Bishop of London and was restored subsequently to the then rector of Runwell, Thomas Knox, MA. The register went back beyond the time of Durden's own incumbency, and thus included many entries in his own hand. The Knox family passed it on to the Rev. Kingsford Harris, who apparently noted Durden's entry on behalf of the Bishop of London dated 1602. This much seems to be clear.

Historical Confirmation
In 1983, through the cooperation of the Rev. Bazille-Corbin's son Christopher, I was able to examine the original letter by the Rev. Kingsford Harris dated 16 July 1931, as well as the typescript of the aforementioned Durden note, done by the same typewriter. There seemed no reason at all to doubt the authenticity of either. In the same year I asked English language scholar Anne Robey to examine the transcript of the note in an attempt to verify the contextual authenticity of the text. As a specialist in late medieval and Elizabethan written language, she was in a perfect position to cast an opinion over its composition. She concluded that there was no obvious signs of fakery, leading her to conclude that it could be genuine. If it was a hoax, then the person or persons involved possessed a superior knowledge of the English written language as used during Elizabethan times.

This leaves us with the possibility that in Elizabethan times the spring on Wellstone Hill was a place of devotional activities among Catholic recusants, who are known to have revered holy wells. For example, a report of a pilgrimage to St Winifred's Well in North Wales exists from the time of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. More curious was the statement in the Durden note suggesting that the 'Runnynge Welle' possessed a small stone chapel tended by a line of prioresses, the last of whom was Lady Bridget Forster, the aunt of Sir Edward Sulyard of Flemings Farm.

The Lost Ring of Lady Bridget Forster
This was strange enough, since there are no records of any such nunnery in the parish, at Poplars Farm or anywhere else for that matter. However, the story took on a whole new dimension in 1937 when the Rev. Bazille-Corbin apparently received a further letter and package from Kingsford Harris. Enclosed was a ring that was said to have belonged to Lady Bridget Forster, the last prioress of the nunnery house. It was allegedly bequeathed to Kingsford Harris by the same source as the church register -
the Knox family. He in turn had passed it on to the Rev. Bazille-Corbin, who received it graciously along with the above mentioned letter, which I was able to examine at the home of Christopher Bazille-Corbin in 1983.

That the ring existed and was in the possession of the Rev. Bazille-Corbin is not in doubt. It was silver and set with a large topaz stone, and on the inside was an inscription which read: 'anulus prioriissae de runewelle 1514', the 'ring of the prioress of Runwell 1514'. Christopher Bazille-Corbin informed me that his father had taken the ring to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for authenticity. However, they informed him that it was of a design popular during the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century, and so could not have belonged to Lady Bridget Forster as the inscription implied.

Obviously, this had been a disappointment to Bazille-Corbin, who conceded that it was most probably a copy of an original ring dating to the sixteenth century. Unfortunately, the whereabouts of the ring today is unknown. Sadly, it was stolen from the home of the Rev. Bazille-Corbin during a break in, and now only the box in which it was kept survives. The young age of the ring thus leaves us no closer to confirming the existence of the line of prioresses which ended with Lady Bridget Forster.

The Bligh Bond Connection
One major problem in accepting the authenticity of the Durden note of 1602 is the nature of some of its contents. The Rev. Bazille-Corbin possessed a strong fascination for the Running Well, as he called it, so much so that he created a series of romantic 'legends' that he featured in his history of the parish. Taking a lead from the Durden note of 1602, one story created by him spoke of the foundation of a stone chapel attached to the well by two Roman missionaries. According to him, they laid a mosaic floor which contained within its design the divine mysteries.

Yet this idea of a mosaic floor of great mystical significance inside a stone chapel was clearly borrowed from the inspired writings of Frederick Bligh Bond, whose rather unorthodox excavation work at Glastonbury Abbey in the first decades of the twentieth century are well-known. They refer to a tiled floor contained the mysteries of religion, carried from an obscure but much quoted reference in William of Malmesbury's work on Glastonbury Abbey.

Bond and Bazille-Corbin corresponded with each other for many years, the letters between which I have seen and examined. This knowledge begs the question of what else the Rev. Bazille-Corbin might have woven into his romantic legends attached to the 'Running Well', or indeed Runwell's church of St Mary? For instance, there is the name given to the well in the Durden note. Here it is said to be the 'place of the shrine of the Bl. Virgin of the Runnynge Welle'. Is it really possible that 160 years before Philip Morant used this term the spring was known as the 'Runnynge Welle'?

In my opinion, this seems highly unlikely, although not impossible. Whatever the answer, it unfortunately brings into question the authenticity of the Durden note of 1602. Yet we can take the matter no further at this time. Although there is every reason to suppose that the Rev. Bazille-Corbin embellished existing stories and folklore connected with Runwell parish to suit his own ends, I find it difficult to believe that he deliberately concocted the transcript of the Durden note and thus made up the story of Lady's Bridget Forster's ring, which does features in one of the Runwell legends as the so-called Prioress's Ring.

Archaeology and the Running Well
We must then take a different tact if we are to learn any more about the origins and former usage of the Running Well, the name by which the spring is universally known today. Archaeology is the science of discovering history through the uncovering of artifacts and archaeological sites, and although the well is not a scheduled or listed ancient monument, and no excavations have taken place here, a number of historically placed artifacts have been found there which offer a glimpse into its history.

In 1982 when I first visited the well, it was in a dilapidated state. The concrete steps were covered over by earth and the hand-rails leading into the water had rotted away, their stumps having been thrown into the water along with concrete posts, bicycle wheels, car tyres and other assorted debris. Working with a group from Earthquest, a local history group run by myself, we transformed the well into a more aesthetic place for visitors approaching along footpaths might enjoy. We also cut new channels for the excess water to flow more easily into the Runwell Brook, which flows southwards towards Runwell St Mary's church,

Over the past 30 years, a large number of artefacts have been found by visitors to the Running Well, and these are listed below in full.

The oldest objects found in the vicinity of the well include flint tools and retouched flakes, belonging to the archaeological period known as the Mesolithic age, c. 8000-5000 BC. One or two of the better examples even form part of the so-called Neolithic area, c. 5000-3000 BC. In addition to this, a Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowhead in a hard black speckled quartzite-like stone was found in ground next to the well by the former owners of the Running Well horse stables. Aside from a number of pieces of rough Iron Age pottery, which have been retrieved from the area immediately around the well, a large number of Roman items have come to light. These include a badly worn brass coin identified as a sestertius, c. 1st-2nd century AD, found within a large pottery fragment of coarse pale grey ware from a cooking pot or container, also from the Roman period. Their discovery together at the base of disturbed soil immediately above a layer of undisturbed clay and gravel indicates clearly that these pieces had remained in situ for nearly 2,000 years.

Other Roman artefacts include pieces of flagons, storage jars, cooking pots and bowls, from coarse grey ware of the first and second centuries through to third or fourth century colour-coated ware from either Northern France or Nene Valley in Northamptonshire, as well as fine brown ware, also from the fourth century, from Bromley Hall, Much Hadham, in Hertfordshire. One interesting piece found at the well is a fragment of Roman quern in Rhineland lava, perhaps Niedermindic, which demonstrates the level of trading going on between Romans of Essex and those of the continental mainland.

All these items show a continued Roman presence at the well across a period of nearly 400 years, through until the time of the Saxon invasion in the early fifth century.

The De'ath Excavations
The well's location less than 300 metres away from a Roman road, which ran from southeast Essex via Wickford to Chelmsford, would indicate that it must have held some kind of significance to those who inhabited the area during this period. We know also that less than 1 kilometre away from the site there existed an extensive Roman settlement on land owned today the De'ath family.

During the 1970s archaeologist Roderick J. Wright dug a trench in the garden of the De'ath's home in Hoe Lane, south-west of the well, and uncovered evidence of an extensive Roman presence as well as a north-south orientated cobbled way which formed part of the above mentioned Roman road. More significantly, the excavations also indicated that the site had been occupied prior to the Roman invasion, since examples of Iron Age pottery were found beneath the lower levels of Roman occupation.

Even after the departure of the Romans in the fifth century AD, the site was occupied as Wright also unearthed a large amount of pottery shards identified as Romano-Saxon speckled ware. This therefore suggested a continuous occupation of the site from around 50 BC to AD 500. It is even possible that this was the original settlement of 'Runewelle' mentioned during the reign of King Athelstan in the tenth century AD.

Post-Roman Times at the Well
A possible Saxon knife blade has been found at the well, along with a fragment of coarse black ware from the same period, indicating the well's continued usage after the Roman period. Fragments of pots, flagons, bowls and water carriers have also been found which show a continual usage throughout medieval and Elizabethan times. Post-medieval finds include a Queen Anne silver shilling dated 1705 and a half penny piece of George II. c. 1750, along with the tip of a slim iron sword of probable Elizabethan manufacture.

A Stone Structure at the Well?
Regarding the suggested presence of a stone building, possibly a medieval stone chapel, somewhere in the vicinity of the well, tantalizing evidence of its existence has been found. Two interconnecting pieces of a heavy limestone window mullion, as well as a well-worn fragment of a grey shale slab forming part of a step, and numerous small pieces of Kentish ragstone, have been found by the water's edge. These pieces of masonry, thought to be of medieval origin, along with further pieces of medieval masonry found at the well by the Rev. Bazille-Corbin, all suggest the presence here of a stone structure. Yet its exact nature has not been determined, or its exact position. However, the kink in the field boundary down stream of the spring head indicates that it might well have been located here, and that the waters might have collected in a shallow pool, before being channelled along the Runwell Brook, which continues south until finally it passes the church of Runwell St Mary.

If the Durden note of 1602 in Runwell's parish register can be verified then it is possible that the masonry fragments found at the well are indeed the last remnants of a small medieval chapel that stood nearby. That the masonry might have been dumped here is untenable, due to the scarcity of stone building materials in Essex. What is more, the two mullion fragments when fitted together form a single piece of masonry over 60 cms in length, which is hardly likely to have carried across the fields for a distance of anything up to 300 metres, simply to be cast into the well. No, this argues for the placement of a medieval building structure, with at one window of either two-lights or three-lights, very close by indeed.

On the other hand, no objects have come to light confirm that the well was ever used as a site of religious devotion, either as late as Elizabethan times or previously during Roman and Saxon times. Only the Durden note of 1602 and the Runewelle place-name argues that this was the case, and these are, as we have seen, open to interpretation.

Yet those items which have been found at the well strongly indicate that it has been an important springhead and water source, as well as a communal meeting place, for at least 2,000 years. Moreover, there seems no reason to question the fact that the site, situated as it is at the highest point in the parish, must have received visitors for anything up to 10,000 years.

A Tile Factory?
The discovery of extremely large quantities of terracotta tiles in the vicinity of the well indicate the presence here in Victorian times, and arguably later, of an extremely active tile kiln, taking advantage of its lofty situation and the ready access to running water. In fact, at least a couple of the tiles have the name 'Rettendon Tile Company' stamped into them, showing their point of retail. However, some of the tiles found on site go back to medieval times, and might thus have come from a nearby building structure, arguably the enigmatic stone chapel.

Modern Activities at the Running Well
Aside from its modern use as a devotional well, the Running Well is the destination of an annual walk held on Boxing Day each year, coordinated by local historian and field walker David De'ath. It begins from the sports field in Church End Lane, Runwell, at 10 am sharp.

The concrete sink tank and steps leading down to the well, installed by the late Mr Mallinson of Flemings Farm during the 1920s, make it an aesthetic location to visit, although access is severely restricted today, even from the Running Well Stud riding stables.

Some Notes on St Mary's Church, Runwell
The church is of fourteenth century construction, although it does contain certain features which show that a building existed on the site in the thirteenth century.

The first recorded rector was Radulphus, who is referred to with respect to a manorial visitation by Dean Ralph de Diceto in 1181. Runwell's rector was appointed by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, although he had the power to appoint a vicar in his stead. There is a Rector named John mentioned for the year 1251 followed by an unbroken line from 1324 onwards, presumably after the construction of the present building.

In the north side of the choir is a recess containing a well-preserved sepulchral slab of a style which suggests thirteenth-century manufacture. In raised relief is a styled cross and shaft suggestive of a decorative crosier. This alone points towards the conclusion that the tomb over which it lays was that of an ecclesiastic. His or her identity is unclear, since none are recorded as being connected with the parish. However, there is a possibility that the original internee was an ecclesiastic connected to the Cathedral Church of St Paul's, London. The monument was moved to its current position left of the altar at some point in the past.

Similar sepulchral slabs can also be found in the churches at Falkbourne and Aveley in Essex, and at Dorchester in Oxfordshire.

A local name given to the sepulchral slab in Runwell church is the Prioress's Tomb. However, there is no indication that this title predates the incumbency of the Rev. J. A. Bazille Corbin, who served Runwell from 1923 to 1961. He featured the 'Runwell cross' in a legend concerning the foundation of the stone chapel thought to have been attached to the Running Well.

Further Reading
Bazille-Corbin, the Rev. J E, 'Runwell S. Mary: A farrago of History, Archaeology, Legend and Folk-lore, collected and pieced together during an incumbency of many years', unpublished MS, c. 1950, available for viewing at the Essex Records Office.
Collins, Andrew, The Running Well Mystery, Earthquest Books, Wickford, 1983.


Artefact Inventory

List compiled by Andrew Collins. All items have been examined either by Ken Crowe, curator of Southend Museum; field archaeologist Rosemary Arsecott, or Pat Connell of the Archaeological Unit, Essex County Council, and are now in the care of Southend Museum.

Abbreviations: RW - Running Well; WF - Well Field; CW - Cowhouse Field; CFW - Cowhouse Field West (beyond 60 metre mark of 20 metre grid; n.d. - no date of discovery.

Order: Site code, i.e. CF01; find number in numerical order, date of discovery, if recorded; rough description; size; suggested age, storage details.

RW01. n.d. Part of foot of furniture. 68 mm x 40 mm x 25 mm. Eighteenth or nineteenth century.
RW02. n.d. Scraper of nodular flint. 45 mm x 25 mm x 4 mm. Mesolithic age, c. 8000-5000 BC.
RW03. n.d. Scraper of nodular flint. 51 mm x 26 mm x 6 mm. Mesolithic age, c. 8000-5000 BC.
WF0104. n.d. Small scraper of nodular flint. Fine example. 34 mm x 12 mm x 6 mm. Mesolithic or early Neolithic age, c. 5000-4000 BC.
WF0105. n.d. Peg tile fragment in terracotta with glaze. 45 mm x 46 mm x 14 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500.
WF0106. N.d. Fragment of musket ball in lead. 14 mm x 10 mm x 8 mm. Seventeenth century.
RW07. 24.12.92. Brick fragment in terracotta. 10 cm x 8 cm x 3 cm. Tudor, c. 1500-1600?
RW08. n.d. Small tile fragment in terracotta. 30 mm x 23 mm x 14 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
RW09. Small tile fragment in grey with burnt exterior. 40 mm x 21 mm x 8 mm. From fire kiln? Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
WF0111. n.d. Square lead weight. 36 mm x 33 mm x 11 mm. Seventeenth century.
RW12. n.d., Half penny piece of George II. c. 1750.
RW13. Shard. Grey exterior and red interior. 28 mm x 26 mm x 5 mm. Part of flagon. Medieval, c. 1200-1400.
RW14. Shard. Grey interior and red slip exterior. Part of water vessel. 30 mm x 28 mm x 4 mm. Medieval, c. 1200-1400. Red Box 2.
RW15. n.d. Shard. Grey exterior, terracotta interior, green glaze. Part of water vessel. 29 mm x 29 mm x 5 mm. Late medieval? Red Box 2.
RW16. n.d. Shard, white slip ware in terracotta. White line 15 mm broad. 52 mm x 44 mm x 7 mm. Late medieval, c. 14th-15th century AD. Red Box 2.
RW17. 9.7.00. Worked offcut, possible borer in nodular flint. 32 mm x 18 mm x 3 mm. Mesolithic, c. 8000-5000 BC. Green Box 1.
RW18. 19.8.00. Brick fragment. 75 mm x 68 mm x 33 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
RW19. 17. 9. 00. Worked flint in surface flint. 35 mm x 15 mm x 7 mm. Mesolithic, c. 8000-5000 BC.
RW20. 17.9.00. Worked flint in surface flint. 56 mm x 40 mm x 21 mm. Mesolithic, c. 8000-5000 BC.
RW21. 17.9.00. Tile fragment with grey interior. 55 mm x 44 mm x 12 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
RW22. 17.9.00. Tile fragment. 38 mm x 41 mm x 7 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
RW23. 17.9.00. Tile fragment. Grey patina or slip on both sides. 43 mm x 42 mm x 12 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
WF0124. 17.9.00. Tile fragment. 81 mm x 73 mm x 12-15 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
RW25. 17.9.00. Pottery shard. Terracotta with grey exterior slip. 52 mm x 48 mm x 4-5 mm. Medieval, c. 1200-1400 AD.
RW26. 17.9.00. Glass fragment. Green. 36 mm x 24 mm x 3 mm. Medieval?
RW27. 3.10.00. Glass fragment, broken on discovery. Transparent. No colour. Light1) 14 mm x 14 mm x 1 mm. 2) 13 mm x 11 mm x 1 mm.
RW28. 3.10.00. Pottery shard. Part of rim. Grey ware with smooth black patina. Heavy shell tempering. 41 mm x 39 mm x 5 mm thickness and 15 mm rim thickness. Open bowl. Late roman.
RW29. 3.10.00. Pottery shard. Coarse black ware. Straw tempered. Brown patina. 44 mm x 35 mm x 8 mm. Saxon, c. AD 400-600.
RW30. 5.10.00. Brick fragment in oatmeal grey. Traces of burning. From a kiln? 54 mm x 41 mm x 59 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
RW31. 5.10.00. Pottery shard in light terracotta. 31 mm x 25 mm x 5-9 mm. Medieval?
RW32. 5.10.00. Worked flint in nodular flint. 50 mm x 38 mm x 9-18 mm. Mesolithic, c. 8000-5000 BC.
WF0133. 5.10.00. Tile fragment. Grey interior. Traces of burning. 62 mm x 51 mm x 12-13 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
WF0134. 5.10.00. Rock shard. Metamorphic rock. 54 mm x 47 mm x 10 mm. Age?
WF0135. 5.10.00. Sample tile fragment. 45 mm x 40 mm x 13 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
WF0136. 5.10.00. Fragment of ridge tile. 36 mm x 29 mm x 18 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
RW37. 22.10.00. Ring. Iron alloy. 33 dia x 4 mm cross section dia. From a belt, collar or tunic. Nineteenth century?
WF0638. 5.10.00. Worked surface flint. 50 mm x 26 mm x 13 mm. Mesolithic, c. 8000-5000 BC.
WF0639. 28.10.00. Worked fragment of nodular flint. Very thin. 30 mm x 27 mm x 3-4 mm. Mesolithic, c. 8000-5000 BC.
WF0540. 28.10.00. Brick fragment. Dark red. From kiln? 69 mm x 50 mm x 36 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
CF0941. 28.10.00. Tile fragment. Grey interior. 90 mm x 49 mm x 16 mm. Medieval to Tudor, c. 1250-1500 AD.
CF0842. 28.10.00. Pottery shard. Base of vessel. Wheel flung. 51 mm x 42 mm x 6-7 mm. Roman?
WF0543. 28.10.00. Fragment of floor tile. Signs of burning. 45 mm x 40 mm x 36 mm. Roman?
CF0944. 28.10.00. Pottery shard. Grey with terracotta exterior. 22 mm x 21 mm x mm. Medieval?
WF0245. 28.10.00. Terracotta pottery shard. Part of rim. 40 mm x 35 mm x 6-9 mm. Post medieval.
RW46. 28.10.00. Hemispherical loom weight in lead (similar to shape of sea-urchin). A raised cross design is centred on exit of vertical hole and extends downwards to the base of item. 32 mm dia x 25 mm. Seventeenth century.
CF0847. 28.10.00. Glass fragment. Blue-green. Part of bottle with square or rectangular sides. 33 mm x 27 mm x 24 mm. Eighteenth or nineteenth century?
WF0148. 28.10.00. Medium sized animal bell. For cattle or horse. Copper alloy. Broken lower hemisphere and ball missing. Pattern on lower hemisphere of circles and rings. 45 mm x 38 mm horizontal dia. Late medieval, Seventeenth century.
CF0949. 28.10.00. Strap end in copper alloy. Cobra head shaped end. Remnants of two ferrous pins. Interlace design on outside. 40 mm x 4 mm x 3 mm (4 mm at opening). Early medieval, c. 1200 AD.
CF0250. 28.10.00. Glass fragment. Green. 25 mm x 21 mm x 4-6 mm. Medieval?
WF0151. 28.10.00. Spur. Copper alloy. 62 mm x 45 mm x 8 mm. Seventeenth to eighteenth century?
CF0952. 28.10.00. Pottery shard. Coarse grey ware. Flint tempered. Part of base. 48 mm x 36 mm x 9-15 mm. Roman or medieval.
WF0253. 28.10.00. Pottery shard. Coarse brown ware. Flint and quartz tempered. 40 mm x 40 mm x 13 mm. Roman or medieval.
CF1254. 28.10.00. Pottery shard. Coarse light grey ware. Part of base. Quartz tempered. 35 mm x 32 mm x 6-12 mm. Base of little jar. Roman.
RW55. 28.10.00. Pottery shard. Terracotta with grey interior and exterior slip. 30 mm x 30 mm x 5 mm. Medieval, c. 1200-1300 AD.
CF0956. 28.10.00. Pottery shard. Thin coarse ware. Grey interior sandwiched between terracotta layers and grey exterior. Flint and quartz tempered. 28 mm x 19 mm x 5 mm. Roman or medieval.
CF1157. 28.10.00. Pottery fragment. Colour-coated ware. Pinky-orange with black slip. Two horizontal grooves. 31 mm x 30 mm x 3-3.5 mm. Roman, 3rd-4th century AD. From Northern France or Nene Valley.
WF0258. 4.11.00. Iron blade. 93 mm x 25 mm x 10 mm. Shear blade. Saxon?
RW59. Iron sword tip? Triangular blade shape. 73 mm x 20 mm x 11 mm. Seventeenth to eighteenth century.
CF0960. 4.11.00. Pottery shard. Coarse light grey ware. Brown-red slip. Shell, grog and sand tempered. 41 mm x 32 mm x 21 mm. Iron Age, Roman or medieval.
CF1161. 4.11.00. Pottery shard. Grey interior, sandwiched between red layers with grey slip on exterior only. Horizontal grooves, one deep. 57 mm x 35 mm x 11 mm. Roman or medieval.
CF0962. 4.11.00. Small pottery shard. Red with grey exterior. Heavily potted. Quartz tempered. 22 mm x 20 mm x 5 mm. Roman or medieval.
CF0963. 4.11.00. Tile fragment. Bumpy green glaze. 45 mm x 30 mm x 25mm. From fire kiln? Seventeenth-eighteenth century?
CF0664. 4.11.00. Torso of female figurine in marble. Hips, abdomen, buttocks and upper legs only. 20 mm x 15 mm x 15 mm. Full figurine around 50 mm tall. Frozen Charlotte in porcelain of nineteenth century manufacture.
CF1165. 21.11.00. Slim pottery shard. Grey with red exterior on both sides. Red glaze on upper surface. 49 mm x 32 mm x 8-9 mm. Fragment of base from bread crock? Seventeenth-eighteenth century.
CF1266. 21.11.00. Pottery shard. Part of rim. Light brown interior with dark brown exterior. Quartz tempered. 30 mm x 25 mm x 11-13 mm. Roman or medieval.
CF1167. 21.11.00. Pottery shard. Coarse dark grey ware. Light grey centre.25 mm x 22 mm x 10 mm. Medieval.
CF1168. 21.11.00. Glass fragment. Dark green. 40 mm x 21 mm x 3-4 mm. Medieval?
CF0969. 21.11.00. Pottery shard. Coarse grey ware, crushed and burnt flint and sand tempered, brown slip. 40 mm x 37 mm x 12 mm. Part of base. Iron Age or Roman, AD 300-400. Found by Pat Connell of the Archaeological Unit, Essex County Council.
CF0870. 21.11.00. Pottery shard. Grey ware, flint and sand tempered. Part of neck. 28 mm x 22 mm x 18 mm. Roman, c. AD 200-300. Found by Pat Connell of the Archaeological Unit, Essex County Council.
CF0871. 21.11.00. Pottery shard. Grey ware. Part of rim. 43 mm x 21 mm x 18 mm. Small flange Bowl. Roman, AD 250-410. Found by Pat Connell of the Archaeological Unit, Essex County Council.
RW72. 17.9.00. Fragment of mullion. Limestone. Well worn. 35 cm x 29 x 15 cm. Square indentations on each side for horizontal saddle bars: LHS - 43 mm depth x 50 breath, RHS - 60 mm depth x 46 mm width. From substantial building. Found beneath modern debris inside of the Running Well. Medieval, c. 1350-1500. Probably from stone chapel.
RW73. 4.10.00. Fragment of mullion fitting with RW72. Limestone. Well worn. 29 cm x 25 cm x 13 cm. From substantial building. Found in a ditch 20 metres south-west of the Running Well. Fits fragment RW72. Medieval, c. 1350-1500. Probably from stone structure.
CF0674. 28.10.00. Piece of copper slag. 28 mm x 26 mm x 17 mm.
WF0175. 30.11.00. Pot shard. Dark orange terracotta. 25 mm x 24 mm x 10 mm. Eighteenth-nineteenth century?
RW76. 17.12.00. Fragment of slab in grey shale, possibly Kimmeridge shale. Worn, straight abutting edges 29 cm x 15 cm with an angle of 80-81 degrees. Further fractured edges of 20 cm and 20.5 cm. Thickness 4.5 to 5 cm. Polished and worn upper surface. Roughly-hewn under surface. Fragment either of floor-slab or grave-slab. Possibly medieval, from stone chapel?
RW77. 17.12.00. Brick in cream with flint-quartz tempering. 24 cm x 11 cm x 5.5 cm (9.25 " x 4.5 " x 2 "). Possible corner brick. Mid to late sixteenth century.
RW78. 17.12.00. Brick fragment, cream with flint-quartz tempering. 15.5 cm x 10.5 x 5 cm. Mid to ate sixteenth century.
CF0779. 26.12.00. Pottery shard. Fine grey ware. Two incised lines 9 mm apart. 56 mm x 37 mm x 10 mm. Roman.
CF0980. 4.11.00. Iron object. 60 mm x 12 mm x 7 mm. Unidentified.
WF0181. 26.12.00. Pottery fragment. Grey coarse ware. 21 mm x 16 mm x 10 mm. Roman.
RW82. 27.12.00. Worked stone. Quartz schist or quartzite. Upper surface flat, and one straight side. 63 mm x 45 mm x 15 mm. Found within river gravels in 'pool' area. Perhaps fragment of stone box lid? Medieval?
WF0183. 26. 12.00. Fragment of cullett (waste glass). Blue glass. 22 mm x 16 mm x 14 mm. Seventeenth century onwards.
RW84. 06.01.01. Piece of oolitic limestone. Upper surface flat. 135 mm x 112 mm x 25 mm. Fragment of masonry. From stone chapel?
RW85. 06.01.01. Tile fragment. Bowed surface. Brown slip on outer and inner surfaces. Terracotta interior. Abutting right-angle with straight sides. 77 mm x 58 mm x 14 mm.
RW86. 06.01.01. Tile fragment. 52 mm x 50 mm x 13.5 mm. Stamp consisting of four blocks or block letters, perhaps the rhird block being a T. Found along with tile fragments RW87.
RW87. 06.01.01. 11 x tile fragments. Various sizes. Thickness - 13-14 mm. Found together at level of river gravels on shallow bank by pool area.
RW88. Withdrawn.
RW89. 12.1.01. Fragment of fire brick. 100 mm x 82 mm x 60-40 cm. One end covered by kiln slag. c. 1250-1600.
RW90. 12.1.01. Fragment of curved roof-tile or drain with straight edge. 135 mm x 90 mm x 20 mm. Pot 2. Medieval?
RW91. 12.01.01. 7 x tile fragments in terracotta. Various sizes. Found beneath large tree in 'pool' area. Above river gravels.
RW92. 12.01.01. Tile fragment in terracotta with peghole. 90 mm x 76 mm x 13 mm. Medieval, c. 1250-1500.
RW93. 12.01.01. Tile fragment with rectangular stamped marks containing traces of glaze. 45 mm x 33 mm x 12 mm. Medieval, c. 1250-1500.
RW94. 12.01.01. Pottery fragment in fired red clay. 40 mm x 27 mm x 4 mm. Medieval, c. 1200-1400.
RW95. 13.01.01. 3 x tile fragments in terracotta. Various sizes. Depth 8 cms. Found by 'pool' area.
CF0996. 5.11.00. Bone fragment. Part of joint. From horse or cow. 60 mm x 50 mm x 30 mm. Medieval to recent.
RW97. 13.01.01. Bone fragment. Heavy dark appearance like stone. Slight minerialisation, and polish through water action. 45 mm x 20 mm x 15 mm. Part of long bone. Mesolithic?
WF0198. 13.01.01. Long, curved scraper in nodular flint. Noticeable retouching along one edge. 41 mm x 12 mm x 10 mm. Late Mesolithic, early Mesolithic, x. 5000-4000 BC.
WF0299. 13.01.01. Worked flint. 60 mm x 49 mm x 13 mm. Mesolithic? Found by Rosemary Arscott.
WF01100. 21.11.00. Slim, worked stone in red 'strawberry stone'. 22 mm x 15 mm x 3 mm. Mesolithic?
WF02101. 13.01.01. Tile fragment in terracotta. Burnt upper surface. 45 mm x 30 mm x 16 mm. Evidence of tile kiln? Medieval, c. 1250-1500. Found by Rosemary Arscott.
RW102. 11.01.01. Pottery fragment in fired red clay. Grey outer surface, green glazed inner surface. 28 mm x 25 mm x 7 mm. Late Medieval, 15th century.
CF06103. 13.01.01. Tile fragment in black fired material. Thin maroon glaze on both surfaces. Large air holes. Product of over-firing in kiln? 33 mm x 20 mm x 15 mm. Medieval?
WF02104. 13.01.01. Pottery fragment I fired red clay. Part of base. Interior clear glaze. 18th century?
CF06105. 13.01.01. Pottery fragment. Grey coarse ware with red interior. Flint and pebble tempered. 20 mm x 14 mm x 5 mm. Late Iron Age or Roman.
CF06106. 13.01.01. Pottery fragment. Grey fired clay. Flint and pebble tempered. 25 mm x 20 mm x 7 mm. Roman coarse ware.
CF06107. 13.01.01. Pottery fragment. Pale orange ware. Sand and pebble tempered. 22 mm x 15 mm x 5 mm. Roman?
CF06108. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment in terracotta with thin red exterior glaze and honey glaze on interior surface. Part of rim. 30 mm x 29 mm x 10 mm. Seventeenth to eighteenth century?
CF06109. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Part of rim of small flange bowl. 40 mm x 12 mm x 7 mm. Roman, AD 250-410.
CF06110. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Thin coarse grey ware. Lighter grey interior. Grit tempered. 40 mm x 22 mm x 7 mm. Roman?
CF06111. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Thick coarse grey ware. 20 mm x 15 mm x 10 mm. Roman?
CF05112. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Fine grey ware. Part of rim. 30 mm x 26 mm x 5 mm. Roman.
CF05113. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Terracotta. Burnt exterior. Fine orange slip on interior. 25 mm x 25 mm x 5 mm. Part of jar. Roman?
CF05114. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Course grey ware. Very thin. Sand tempered. 18 mm x 8 mm x 3 mm. Roman?
CF05115. 21.01.01. Worked flint made in surface flint. 55 mm x 35 mm x 15 mm. Mesolithic?
CF05116. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Terracotta. Part of rim. 45 mm x 25 mm x 15 mm. Seventeenth to eighteenth century?
CF02117. 21.01.01. Worked flint in nodular flint. Crude scraper. 50 mm x 25 mm x 7 mm. Mesolithic to early Neolithic, c. 5000-4000 BC.
CF02118. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Dark grey Rettendon ware. Grit tempered. Part of rim. 50 mm x 25 mm x 7 mm. Roman, AD 280-350.
CF02119. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse grey ware. Light grey sandwich interior. Sand tempered. 30 mm x 16 mm x 5 mm. Roman?
CF05120. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse grey ware. Light sandwich interior. Part of base. Wheel thrown? 47 mm x 35 mm x 12 mm. Roman?
CF05121. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Terracotta. Honey glaze on inner surface. Part of rim. 50 mm x 20 mm x 10 mm. Seventeenth to eighteenth century?
CF05122. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse orange-brown ware. Grog tempered. Smooth feel. Orange sandwich interior. 45 mm x 30 mm x 13 mm. Storage jar. Roman?
CF05123. 21.01.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse orange-brown ware. Grit and sand tempered. Possible shell tempering as well. Pot marks. 50 mm x 26 mm x 10 mm. Part of storage jar. Roman?
RW124, 18. 2.01. Pottery fragment, fine brown ware with orange slip on outer surface. Grit and sand tempered. 72 mm x 52 mm x 4-7 mm. Found in spoil from upper steps into well. Roman, 4th century, Bromley Hall, Much Hadham ware.
RW125. 18.2.01. Pottery fragment, fine orangy-brown ware, grey slip on outer surface with traces of apple-green glaze, burnt inner surface. Sand tempered. 31 mm x 26 mm x 3.5 mm. Medieval, 12-13th century.
CF06126. 18.2.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse grey ware, terracotta surfaces. 30 mm x 26 mm x 6 mm. Seventeenth century.
CF06127. 18.02.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse light grey ware. Grit and sand tempered (some crushed flint). 32 mm x 24 mm x 7 mm. Roman?
CF06128. 18.02.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse grey ware. Grit and sand tempered. 24 mm x 19.5 mm x 6 mm. Roman?
CF06129. 18.02.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse grey ware. Grit and sand tempered. Deep furrow. 15 mm x 14 x 5 mm. Roman?
CF09130. 18.02.01. Piece of building fabric. Sandstone. Outer surface flat and smooth. Ridge and smooth surface on opposite surface. 90 mm x 75 mm x 20 mm. From building block?
RW131. 18.02.01. Roof tile fragment. Stamped impressions in line. 63 mm x 54mm x 13 mm. 15th-16th century.
RW132. 18.02.01. Roof tile fragment. Modern. 100 mm x 75 mm x 14 mm (23 mm). Found beneath steps to give dating. C. 1930s.
RW133. 18.02.01. Cast Ring, circular cross section. Made of copper. 30 mm dia. Cross-section dia. 4 mm. Found on LHS of steps in well hollow. Part of tunic, belt or collar. Medieval?
RW134. 18.02.01. Brick. Brown. 8¼ x 3¾ x 2½ inches (21 x 9.5 x 6.5 cms). Found in pool area. 18th century?
RW|135. 18.02.01. Cullet or kiln waste, from industrial process. Purple glaze effect. 50 mm x 40 mm x 37 mm. Age?
CF09136, 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. 36 mm x 20 mm x 17 mm. Part of flange bowl. Roman, late 2nd century, early 3rd century AD.
CF09137. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse grey ware. Pitted. 50 mm x 48 mm x 9 mm. Late Iron Age, 1st century BC-1st century AD.
CF09138. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Part of base. Coarse grey ware. Heavily flint and grit tempered. 45 mm x 26 mm x 14 mm. Roman?
CF09139. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Lightly flint tempered. 32 mm x 20 mm x 5 mm. Roman.
CF09140. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Lightly flint tempered. 30 mm x 17 mm x 5 mm. Roman.
CF09141. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Lightly flint tempered. 18 mm x 12 mm x 5 mm. Roman.
CF09142. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. 20 mm x 12 mm x 5 mm. Roman.
CF09143. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Heavily flint tempered. 20 mm x 19 mm x 6 mm. Medieval?
CF09144. 20.02.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Orange underside. 24 mm x 20 mm x 8 mm. Medieval?
RW145. 13.5.01. Large pottery fragment. Thin, fine brown ware, wheel thrown. High mica content. 120 mm x 96 mm x 4-6 mm. Part of large flagon. Double incised line around perimeter. Found in spoil heap. Roman?
RW146. 13.5.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Sand and grog tempered. Locally made. Base of cooking pot. 73 mm x 57 mm x 10-14 mm. Found in mound area. Roman, c. 1st-2nd century AD.
RW147. 13.5.01. Fragment of trapezoid hone, or whetstone, in sandstone. Slightly tapered. Large, possibly for agricultural use. 69 mm x 45 mm x 22-26 mm. Roman?
RW148. 13.5.01. Fragment of quern in Rhineland lava, perhaps Niedermindic. Showing curved edge. Grooves worn away through usage. 101 mm x 61 mm x 20 mm. Found in spoil heap. Roman? Red Box 1.
RW149. 13.5.01. 6 x fragments of oolitic limestone. Various sizes. Largest 92 mm x 47 mm x 43 mm. Some flat surfaces, one with right-angles. Fragments of masonry. Found in spoil heap.
RW150. 13.5.01. Glass fragment. Rounded green bottle. Many air holes. No patina. 84 mm x 65 mm x 3 mm. Seventeenth to eighteenth century.
RW151. 13.5.01. Pottery fragment. Body shard. Coarse grey ware. Lighter interior. Sand, flint and grog tempered. 41 mm x 30 mm x 11 mm. Roman.
RW152. 13.5.01. Pottery fragment. Terracotta. Rim. Self-glaze. 32 mm x 30 mm x 15 mm. Medieval/Tudor, c. 16-17th century.
RW153. 13.5.01. Pottery fragment. Terracotta. Grey exterior. 37 mm x 26 mm x 5 mm. Medieval, c. 15-16th century.
RW154. 13.5.01. Pottery fragment. Grey ware. Smooth brown outer surface. 21 mm x 16 mm x 10 mm. Roman?
RW155. 13.5.01. Tile fragment, or part of container. Coarse, hard pinky-orange fabric. 66 mm x 46 x 10 mm. Medieval?
RW156. 13. 5. 01. Tile fragment. Kiln waste. Terracotta with black out coating. Corner, slightly curved. 73 mm x 40 mm x 14 mm. Medieval to Tudor, perhaps 15-16th century.
RW157. 12.8.01. Brass coin. No distinguishing features. All relief erased. 30 mm x 29 mm x 2 mm. Round 1 metre down within mound area, approx. 3 metres from edge of current well. Extremely worn sestertius, c. 1st-2nd century AD.
RW158. 12.8.01. Silver coin. 25 mm dia. Found in mound area. 20 cm from surface. Queen Anne shilling. 1705.
RW159. 12.8.01. Pottery fragment. Coarse pale grey ware. Some sand and flint tempering. 73 mm x 60 mm x 4-10 mm. Found at same level and alongside Roman sestertius RW157 at depth of 1 metre in mound area. From large pot or container. Roman.
RW160. 14.10.01. Pottery fragment. Part of rim in fine orange fabric. Brick tempering. Part of bowl/dish. 57 mm x 56 mm x 6-7 mm. Either late Roman 3-4th century, Hadham Ware, Bromley Hall, from Harlow or Bishops Stortford. Late Roman. Red box 2.
RW161. 14.10.01. Pottery fragment. Body shard. Orange ware with grey interior. Surface oxidised. Predominantly reduced. White slip. Flint and brick tempered. Traces of white glaze strip. 55 mm x 47 mm x 4 mm. Medieval, 13-14th century.
RW162. 14.10.01. Pottery fragment. Terracotta ware with grey interior. Part of handle. Black reduced with stripe in white slip. 65 mm x 55 mm x 20 mm. Part of two handled jug. Found in spoil heap. Medieval, c. 13-14th century.
RW163. 14.10.01. Copper alloy buckle. Horseshoe shape with vertical bar. Hand cast. 33 mm x 30 mm x 37 mm. C. 17-19th century.
RW164. 14.10.01. Fragment of peg tile. Kiln Waste. Hard Red with grey interior. Black slag on surface. Suggestive of local kiln. 68 mm x 49 mm x 13 mm. Medieval to Tudor. C. 15-16th century?
WF00165. 2.6.02. Worked flint flake in nodular flint. Wedge shaped. 22 mm x 19 mm x 5 mm. Found in bank of ditch on east side of Well Field. Possible scraper. Mesolithic?
RW166. Pottery fragment. Body shard. Thin fine orange ware with grey outer surfaces. 56 mm x 40 mm x 4 mm. Roman or medieval, thirteenth to fourteenth century.

Other known artefacts found at the well.

- 1932-1942. Two pieces of masonry said to have been similar to that of St Mary's church, Runwell, as recorded by the Rev. J. E. Bazille-Corbin in his History of Runwell, published in 1942.
- 1980s. Barbed and tanged triangular arrowhead, found by close to the well by Alf and Jackie Bowman, previous owners of the Runningwell Stud. Black speckled quartzite? Approximately 3 cms in length. Bronze Age.
- 1980s. A George II penny found by Kenneth De'ath by well.