Preliminary notes on a medieval shrine and holy well 
Who these days, when ancient pilgrimages to Canterbury and Walsingham retain their renown, remembers St Anne in the Wood? And yet, even in the 19th century, ‘this spot is but little known even to many long resident in the neighbouring city’.¹ The ‘neighbouring city’ is Bristol which, by the 20th century, has swallowed up the village of Brislington in which lay this once famous medieval chapel and well.
The site is in a bend of the River Avon, bounded to the south by the Bristol-to-Bath railway planned by Brunel, and until 1957 travellers from North of the river crossed over by ferry. A stream has carved itself a rocky valley in what is now known as St Anne’s Park before emptying itself into the Avon.
Nowadays  the situation is rather sad. The railings around the park are dilapidated, the stone steps down the sides of the valley overgrown. Dutch elm disease has ravaged 800 trees in what is marked on maps as ‘Nature’s Garden’, and bikes have mashed up the ground in St Anne’s Wood. In late summer 1985 some of the once grassy banks had been re-seeded but rubbish littered the stream.Continue reading “St Anne in the Wood, Bristol”