The Natural History of Wiltshire eBook

John Aubrey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Natural History of Wiltshire.

Holy-well, in the parish of Chippenham, near Sheldon, by precipitation of one-third of a pint with a strong lixivium, by the space of twenty-four houres I found a sediment of the quantity of neer a small hazell nut-shell of a kind of nitre; sc. a kind of flower of that colour (or lime stone inclining to yellow); the particles as big as grosse sand.  Upon evaporation of the sayd water, which was a pottle or better, I found two sorts of sediment, perhaps by reason of the oblique hanging of the kettle:  viz. one sort of a deep soot colour; the other of the colour of cullom earth.  It changed not colour by infusion of powder of galles.  Try it with syrup of violettes.

Hancock’s well at Luckington is so extremely cold that in summer one cannot long endure one’s hand in it.  It does much good to the eies.  It cures the itch, &c.  By precipitation it yields a white sediment, inclining to yellow; sc. a kind of fine flower.  I believe it is much impregnated with nitre.  In the lane that leads from hence to Sapperton the earth is very nitrous, which proceeds from the rich deep blew marle, which I discovered in the lane which leads to Sapworth.

Biddle-well lies between Kington St. Michael and Swinley; it turnes milke.  In the well of the mannour house (Mr. Thorn.  Stokes) of Kington St. Michael is found talc, as also at the well at Priory St. Maries, in this parish; and I thinke common enough in these parts.

In Kington St. Michael parish is a well called Mayden-well, which I find mentioned in the Legeir-booke of the Lord Abbot of Glaston, called Secretum Domini [or Secretum Abbatis.] Let it be tryed.  Alice Grig knows where about it is.

In the park at Kington St. Michael is a well called Marian’s-well, mentioned in the same Legeir-book.

In the parish of North Wraxhall, at the upper end of ye orchard of Duncomb-mill at ye foot of ye hill ye water petrifies in some degree; which is the onely petrifying water that I know in this countie. [In subsequent pages Aubrey refers to other petrifying waters near Calne, Devizes, and elsewhere.-J.  B.]

At Draycott Cerne (the seate of my ever honoured friend Sir James Long, Baronet, whom I name for honour’s sake) the waters of the wells are vitriolate, and with powder of galles doe turne of a purple colour.-[I have a delicate, cleare, and plentifull spring at Upper Deptford, never dry, and very neer the river Ravens-born; the water famous for ye eyes, and many other medicinal purposes.  Sr Rich.  Browne, my father-in-lawe, immur’d it, wth a chaine and iron dish for travellers to drink, and has sett up an inscription in white marble.- John Evelyn.]

Stock-well, at Rowd, is in the highway, which is between two gravelly cliffs, which in warm weather are candied.  It changed not colour with powder of galles; perhaps it may have the effect of Epsham water.  The sediment by precipitation is a perfect white flower, Mice nitre.  The inhabitants told me that it is good for the eies, and that it washes very well.  It is used for the making of medicines.

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The Natural History of Wiltshire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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