This article was originally published in the Archaeological Forum Journal: CAB Yorkshire (Volume 3, 2014, pages 41-46). I am grateful to the editors of the publication for allowing me to reproduce it here.
Summary of contents
There are difficulties surrounding the definition of what constitutes a ‘holy well’ and this has led to ambiguities in the way that they are treated in the archaeological record. In this article I argue that more attention should be given to wells and water troughs for their archaeological rather than their folklore associations. This, I feel, would allow such structures to be place more appropriately in their historical and sociological context.
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