The Holy Well & Comer Gardens

  • 11 Jan 2024
  • Historical Studies
  • Back

The Holy Well at Henwick was an exceptionally fine spring which in medieval times had been piped to the cathedral and which the prior had used in the baths he had erected for the monks on Holywell Hill (in return for the transference of St. John's tolls to the Worcester bailiff in 1461) The water was credited with possessing curative properties for the eyes, and was extensively used for that purpose. The lead pipes which conveyed the water to the cathedral were pulled up by the Parliamentary troops during the siege of Worcester and used for bullets.

Later, a celebrated porter brewery in Hylton Road began using the water and acquired a great reputation in the Midlands, but the brewery was destroyed by fire in 1791. The water was regarded as the purest in Worcester and sold at 1/2d a can, yet despite its fame, the well was despoiled in the 1870s and bricked up.

Comer Gardens, built in the 1850s, was once an isolated 'garden village' of detached houses on both sides of a lane, well set back with long gardens in front. The lane was a mere unlit track, without water mains or sewers, but its trees and shrubs, mainly golden chain, were very beautiful . The village was the outcome of the second cholera epidemic of 1848 and became the dormitory home of a colony  of Worcester tradesmen.