Marsden Holy Dipping Well, Preston
I went to find Marsden Well near Preston, today. Not only does it enjoy an excellent name, but it has an interesting origin. It has probably been used since Saxon times; early Christian missionaries are likely to have baptised converts here. It measures twelve feet by five feet, so it could accommodate total bodily immersion. One of its nicknames is 'the dipping well'. It is just a few dozen yards from the banks of the Ribble; the Saxon missionaries must have deemed this natural spring a safer alternative to the mighty river. According to www.magalithic.co.uk, the current stonework and five steps date from the 13th or 14th centuries.