The Holy Wells of Britain


An invented journey around the Well towns of Britain

If we no longer have access to the scared pages of the mythical text – the ‘hero’s journey’ – what might we be left with? Only the shadow of ‘the author’, the ripples of ‘the book’, and a map fragmented beyond recognition.

Turning away from the grand narrative, and the author’s voice, we can put aside our heavy and never-ending search for the ‘whole’.

Might we accept the possibility that now there is no foothold in the journey, no point of arrival?

The long and mythical journey is over. It is past, and we no longer have access to the route. Perhaps now we can instead take pleasure in sorting through the fragments, and hear what happened next.

Following the publication of a mysterious book, which chronicles the journey of an unknown author, this project recounts the reactions of the towns and villages visited in the book.

Narrated by Bob Wright

© Oona Brown 2015


Listen here

Bottles wells

the goddess Senuna of Ashwell (replica), holy water collected during site visits


Marlin website1

the Chopwell marlin


Oona Brown 'The Book of Holy Wells' website

Holywell souvenir, tip of the Ickwell maypole (replica), Wells postcard (replica), Orwell library books, the pantile of Tunbridge Wells (replica)


O wells

Orwell library books (detail); printed in latin, back to front, blank


T wells website

the pantile of Tunbridge Wells (detail)