White Wells, Ilk­ley Moor

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

A peren­nial of York­shire cal­en­dars, White Wells is a spa bath on the side of Ilk­ley Moor and a place of vir­tual pil­grim­age for proud Tykes thanks to On Ilkla’ Moor Baht ’at, es­pe­cially on York­shire Day. It was es­tab­lished around 1760 when three plunge pools were in­stalled be­low a nat­u­ral moor­land spring, by the lo­cal Mid­dle­ton fam­ily to pro­vide a health rem­edy the “cold wa­ter cure.” Orig­i­nally, walls en­closed the pools on three sides be­fore to­day’s white­washed cot­tage was built. The wa­ter’s medic­i­nal qual­i­ties were e leg­endary. A shep­herd’s in­jured leg was said to have been healed af­ter bathing it in a pool. Oth­ers claimed it cured blind­ness and tu­mours. Fa­mous visi­tors in Vic­to­rian times in­cluded Charles Dar­win and the com­poser Fred­er­ick Delius. Later anal­y­sis con­cluded the wa­ter had no medic­i­nal qual­i­ties but praised its pu­rity and soft­ness. To­day there is an an­nual tra­di­tion of peo­ple us­ing the freez­ing cold plunge pool on New Year’s Day.

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