Having always been fascinated by springs and holy wells, I was rather pleased to discover The Virgin Mary Spring marked on the O.S map.
On a miserable damp morning we set off from Petworth descending into Shimmings Valley heading on the path that follows the stream below Byworth. Having sloshed our way through some fairly deep mud and carefully avoiding the slippery edge of the river, we found the spring nestling into the bank.
The water was flowing very swiftly from an iron pipe and falling into a brick lined basin with worn steps leading into it.
The whole thing looks to have been carefully constructed to maximise ease of water collection with a bucket.
I’m interested to know if it was the main source of fresh drinking water for Byworth ? The village is very high up and it would take an extremely deep well to reach the water table, also there is a well constructed path with steps leading from the village down to the spring.
This photograph is from around 1900.