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Owd Nick’s Whum?

Owdo me owd butties, the devil hates England and hates Shropshire most of all but did you know he sometimes lurks in a well?

Frog Well, betwixt Ruckley, Acton Burnell and Langley parishes.

A holy well or a Satanic well?

Hope’s Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England says:

“By the side of the Roman road between Ruckley and Acton Burnell, yclept the Devil’s Causeway, and half-way down the Causeway Bank, there rises out of a ferny, flowery bank a most beautiful spring, which drips into a deep rocky basin, partly natural, of great gray slabs of stone, placed there by the hand of man. Behind it rises the ancient Causeway Wood, with its yews and hollies, its ash and mountain-ash trees. The spring is never known to fail, even in the dryest seasons. Its waters, say the folk, are always cold in summer and warm in winter, and, needless to add, they are good for sore eyes. Will it be believed that this beautiful fountain, fit only for the fairest of water-nymphs, is the scene of what seems like a fragment of the husk-myth of the Frog-Prince? Here the Devil and his imps appear in the form of frogs. Three frogs are always seen together; these are the imps; the largest frog, being Satan himself, remains at the bottom and shows himself but seldom.”

Writing in her Shropshire Folklore, Burne suggests “The proper time for the malevolent frog to be seen when the well was dried up in times of great drought hence he is but seldom seen in a rainy climate like ours.” Mebbe with these warmer summers it’s time for owd Nick to make an appearance, or is he already amongst us?

Danker me! that’s enough chunnerin’ frum me for one day, thank’ee muchly to anyone who is still reading this far down,the devil finds work…now run along and play nicely.