Hawsker

The Boiling well stands on the side of the road from Whitby to Hawsker. The well originally fed Whitby Abbey hence it’s other name T’awd Abba Well. A plaque on the well wall used to read

T’awd Abba Well
Also Known as The Old boiling Well

Lang centuries aback
This wor’t awd Abba Well
Saint Hilda veiled i’ black
Lang centuries aback
Supped frey it an no lack
All ‘r sisterhood as well
Lang centuries aback
This wor’t awd Abba Well

This very worn 10C Anglo Saxon cross sits beside a minor road at Low Hawsker. Much of the detail is lost. The drawing below was published by W G Collinwood in 1911.

Hawsker YAJ21WG Collingwood

Sources

Graham Chappell’s wonderful Yorkshire Holy Wells

Anglian & Anglo-Danish Sculpture in the East Riding with addenda to the North Riding. W.G. Collingwood. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 21 1911. Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Leeds

2 thoughts on “Hawsker

  1. In the fields to the north of T’awd Abba Well there is a Hilda’s Howe (marked on OS map) and the verse suggests a local tradition connecting her with the well. (although 1st ed os map calls it east close spring)
    If this was originally a St Hilda’s Well then there would have been a holy well dedicated to St Hilda alongside the 3 main routes leading to whitby Abbey from the north, south and west -with the Hilda’s spring near aislaby and St Hilda’s well at hinderwell.
    The proximity of Hawsker cross and Hilda Howe is repeated with the Swarth Howe cross and Swarth howe barrows and Hinderwell beacon and cross fragments in the church.
    Tradition says Hilda had a ‘retreat’ at hinderwell – perhaps this was connected with the burial mounds and springs in some way?

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