Petition launched to save ancient Clitheroe wells and boost tourism

Heild Well in Wellgate, ClitheroeHeild Well in Wellgate, Clitheroe
Heild Well in Wellgate, Clitheroe
Hundreds of people have signed a petition to try to save three historic public wells in Clitheroe.

Calls are being made for officials at Ribble Valley Council to acknowledge ownership of the three wells in the town and it is believed they could attract thousands of tourists. Once adopted, members of the Clitheroe Town Wells Conservation Campaign Group pledge to conserve and repair the ancient heritage assets with the help of the council.

Steve Burke, secretary for the CTWCCG, said: ''Clitheroe Civic Society and the Wells Conservation Group have jointly researched the history, geology, legal position and future potential of the town wells. The borough council adopted Stock Well, adjacent to Trinity Methodist Church, following a decision of their Community Committee in 2019. In light of new evidence, we are now calling upon Ribble Valley Borough Council to reconsider its position to refuse to adopt the remaining two Clitheroe Wells: Heild Well in Wellgate and St Mary's Well in Well Terrace.

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"Once the council has ownership of all three the wells, the Conservation Group will - in partnership with the council - be able to apply for Grant Aid and fundraise to conserve, repair, and better interpret these ancient heritage assets. We are also actively planning to put the town’s wells centre stage later this year once lockdown restrictions are lifted."

St Mary's Well in Well TerraceSt Mary's Well in Well Terrace
St Mary's Well in Well Terrace

Group organisers are taking inspiration for what could be an annual event is gained from the Derbyshire Peak District village of Tissington. Their annual Well Dressing Festival consistently attracts around 50,000 visitors.

Steve added: "The issue of ownership is vital to securing the future of the town wells. We believe that there will be no significant additional cost or risk to council taxpayers, nor any

downside to the Clitheroe and Ribble Valley community whatsoever - in fact the reverse outcome is more likely! With the cooperation and imagination of our borough councillors, the creation of a group of communally conserved and revitalised assets can be achieved. This will help promote tourism, increase footfall in Clitheroe town centre and showcase the town’s unique and ancient heritage to the cultural and financial benefit of all involved.

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"Please lend your support for this long overdue initiative to give pride of place to three of the oldest structures in the Ribble Valley by signing the petition which so far has 849 signatures."

Ribble Valley Borough Council has been contacted for a comment.

Anyone wishing to sign the petition is asked to click here

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