A new free App has been released to tell the story of St Agnes Holy Well in Cothelstone. The App is the culmination of 14 month’s work led by Debbie McKenna and Becky Wright of New Leaf Life Design in partnership with Bridgwater College’s Entry to Land Based Studies students and Alex Roland of YourITNow.
The project, which was funded by Bishops Lydeard Parish Council, The Heritage Lottery and New Leaf Life Design, came about after Becky found a small Well located on an OS map. The Well was very overgrown and in a state of disrepair when she finally found it and having spoken to the landowner she gained permission to clean up the area.
On researching the Well further it was found to be Grade 2 listed and had in fact been considered one of the most beautiful Wells in the County in its day. The story of how this all came about and the painstaking restoration is all told on the App.
Alex and Becky’s share the same passion for conservation which led them to form this unique partnership, and it is this partnership which has resulted in the first App ever to be created by young people to support a heritage project.
Students from Bridgwater College were given the opportunity to be part of the whole restoration process, learning about natural stone masonry and historic building restoration work. They took part in two projects, one based around Art led by Artist, Lucy Large and the other to help develop creative writing using the folklore surrounding the Well. This was led by Storyteller Chris Jelly. Both these projects can be viewed and heard on the App.
In May this year, the Well was officially opened with a Well Dressing Ceremony and there is a video of this occasion filmed by Dan Gale available via the App.
Iain Porter, Development Officer Quantock Hills AONB Service said, “This is a wonderful example of a community led project which has restored and increased our understanding of the heritage of the Quantock Hills and Cothelstone in particular. Becky’s enthusiasm and the engagement of the other partners have ensured the success of this project and the conservation of the Well into the future.”
The App has original music on it by Jon Guard and a unique sound walk which transports the listener back to the Well and the sounds around it.
Andrew Hopkins, Marketing and Visitor Centre Manager for Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council said, “We are delighted to welcome this initiative and look forward to promoting this to visitors. The Holy Well is already cited as a Culture Secret of Somerset.”
Parish and County Councillor for the area, Mike Rigby, was set on supporting the project as soon as Becky brought it to his attention. He said, “It’s fabulous to see forgotten parts of our heritage uncovered and restored by public-spirited individuals and organisations. Download the App and take a trip to the well.”
The App, which is currently only available for Apple products, can be downloaded at
or via the QR code.
The App is free.
For more details of the well visit Cultural Secret of Somerset http://www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/culture-secrets
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wellobsessed/
Thank you to everyone involved in the project.