Link to my first article for Gods & Radicals: ‘Lost Watercourses and Resacredization’. Here I trace the lost watercourses of my locality and explore telling the stories of my landscape as an affirmation of the sacred and means of defying capitalism’s commodification of nature.
Gods & Radicals is a web-site set up by Rhyd Wildermuth which aims to unite pagans in beautiful resistance against capitalism.
The watercourses of my local landscape were once considered very sacred. The river Ribble was venerated by the Romano-British people as Belisama ‘Most Shining One’ ‘Most Mighty One’. The boundaries of the settlements of Penwortham and Preston were defined by freely flowing streams whose deities would have been regarded as powerful guardian spirits.
Life depended on clean, pure water drawn from wells rising from underground sources. Rows of women queued on Petticoat Alley to collect their morning’s fill. Many wells possessed miraculous and healing properties. Ladywell and St Mary’s Well were important sites of pilgrimage. Mineral springs on New Hall Lane were renowned for curing eye ailments.
The brooks that form the perimeters of Penwortham can still be walked. However not a single glimpse of fresh free flowing water can be seen in Preston anymore. Every water course has been culverted. They can be traced by following signs: Syke Hill…
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