Knaresborough is a small village in England of about 14,000 inhabitants. What makes it special is a well whose water turns everything into stone.
The well that turns everything into stone
It is thought that this well is unique in England and is linked to many local legends.
In the past it was thought that anyone who touched the water that flowed from it, was transformed into stone. The fact that on one side there is a rock that resembles a skull, did not help at all.
The belief was probably born from the observation of twigs or maybe even some dead animal turn into stone after coming into contact with the water of the well. In 1600 it became an attraction and was no longer seen as cursed, but as curative. In fact, many went to the well from all over England to bathe in its miraculous waters.
The secret of the well
But does the well really turn objects into stone?
The answer is yes. The water in this well has a high content of minerals that calcify on the objects that they wet. The principle is that of the formation of stalactites in some caves, but it is much faster. Due to its high mineral content, the water in this well is not drinkable.
Today there are many people who decide to bring objects to the well, tying them to a rope and waiting for their petrification. Particularly disturbing is the row of completely petrified teddy bears.
The objects are still visible, some completely petrified, others in the middle of the petrification process. The oldest objects that can be seen are a cylinder and a women’s cap from the 19th century.
The wishing well
On the back of the well that petrifies everything there is a wishing well, where people has been coming to for decades to make a wish.
Many people say that their wish has come true, so much so that the staff often receive phone calls from all over England from people who cannot go in person, but who still want to make a wish. These people are willing to pay by credit card or check to have a member of staff make a wish in the well for them.
Between legend and reality, this is perhaps one of the lesser-known places in the UK, but one that is certainly worth a visit.