Spring Head, Sternes Well, Skelton

Geotag Icon Show on map

This little gem is hidden away in nettles at the top of Lawns Gill, the spring was the water supply for Skelton Castle. Old OS maps call it Spring Head.

Spring Head, Sternes Well, Skelton 

The inscription reads :-

Leap from thy cavern’d mossy bed,
Hither thy prattling waters bring
Blandusia’s Muse shall crown thy head
And make thee too a sacred spring

Spring Head, Sternes Well, Skelton 

Some attribute the words to John Hall Stevenson eccentric playboy owner of Skelton Castle, it is said the “Crazy Castle” in his “Crazy Tales” is Skelton. The are numerous tales of his exploits such as not getting out of bed when the wind was blowing from the east and racing roman chariots on Saltburn beach. His group of friends knows as the “Demoniacs” sounds like an interesting bunch with names such as Rev. “Panty” Lascelles and Zachary Moore

Other attribute the words directly to Stevensons friend and fellow “Demoniac” Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy in the 1760s. There are other Sterne links as just to the North East of Skelton Castle are areas known as Sterne’s Seat and Mount Shandy.

“Blandusia” is a corruption of Bandusia which was an ancient Roman spring


1 thought on “Spring Head, Sternes Well, Skelton

  1. My son-in-law Stuart McMillan who is a local historian tells me that Sternes well is actually a valve room that was used to fill or top-up the moat which ran around Skelton Castle the remnents of which can still be seen from church lane

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.