Community mosaic to boost heritage

Work begins on the mosaic
Work begins on the mosaic

A PIECE of community artwork is set to raise the profile of local heritage in Hinderwell.

The community mosaic will raise the profile of St Hilda’s Well in Hinderwell Church Yard and will be a lasting legacy to the three-year Mulgrave Community Research Project, which ends in December.

The mosaic was started at the Annual Garden Fete on 25 July

The mosaic was started at the Annual Garden Fete on 25 July

Anthea Ellis, of the MCRProject, said: “The well is a scheduled ancient monument, and the mosaic will be part of a bigger project to enhance the area around the well.

“Hinderwell’s church is dedicated to St. Hilda, but the Holy Well in the churchyard has much earlier origins and probably gave its name to the village.

“According to legend, St. Hilda was asked to intercede in a drought while travelling through the parish. Her prayers were answered and the spring which appeared has continued to bubble from the hillside to this day.”

Hinderwell residents began the mosaic in July at the Old School’s Annual Garden Fete and more tiles will be added at the Methodist Church Coffee morning on 27 August.

It has been designed by Helen and Derek Gaunt from Saltburn after the project was identified through the MCRProject, which is managed by the Jet Coast Development Trust and funded by both LEADER and Your Heritage Lottery.

17 November is St Hilda’s Day and a pageant is also being planned.

St Hilda’s Well was said to have healing properties, particularly for eye diseases, and the well became a place of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages.

It is the only scheduled ancient monument in the parish.

St Hilda is also said to be responsible for the ammonites or fossilised mollusca shells often found along the coast, as they resemble curled-up headless snakes. According to legend, she had prayed for all the snakes of the neighbourhood to lose their heads and be turned to stone. For this reason, ammonites are known locally as St Hilda’s Snakes.