I would like to support the plans to have the Donkey Field declared a protected village green.
One of the reasons why I am concerned is that in one part of the field there is an ancient well, or natural spring of water, which is mentioned by Sir Hugh Cholmley in his writings dated 1634. He states that, as there was no water to feed his manor house on the top of the cliff, he arranged for the water from the Low Well in the Almshouse Close to be transported up there for his use. He also had the water covered by an open brick roof in order to protect it from wild animals.
This well still exists, as does the ancient brick cover, now with a carpet of grass, although its name has been changed from the Low Well to the Abbey Well.
This site is also of great importance as it can be classed as a holy well in that the water never runs dry nor does it freeze over in the coldest winter. Because of this I have included it in my book, The Magic and Mystery of Holy Wells.
The water from the well is culverted down the hill-side into an old yard, aptly named Well Court, where it runs into an open gully across the yard and then into a grate and probably into the River Esk. However because of the disturbance caused by the Yorkshire Water Board it seems that some of the bricks from the cover of the well have been displaced.
Yorkshire Water themselves should, of their own accord, remedy this by replacing the ancient bricks if they are still lying there somewhere on the round. New bricks would not be suitable.
The protection of this area of ancient Whitby is extremely necessary and although because of my own ancient legs I can no longer climb the hill to visit the well, I will give all the help that I can to the pressure group if contacted.
Edna Whelan, Ingham Close, Sleights