|Water Fuss At Cowling
in 1876 Middleton Spring.
|Middleton Spring, Cowling has for many generations been renouned for its sparkling crystal clear water, and not
only was it a source of drinking water for residents in
the area, but being on the Pennine Way undoubtedly
refreshed many a weary walker!
Just over 100 years ago however, the owner of the field
in which it is situated intimated that a small charge
would be made to the people using it, or he would colse
the well! The locals refused to pay so the owner hired a
number of men from ouside the village to hew a large
stone from nearby Knoll Hill Quarry to block it up.
In the early hours pf the morning when the dray with the
stone was making its way to the well the alarm was
raised and the people flocked to the scene. The dray was
halted and it is said a woman drew a line across its
path with her clog and threatened dire consequences on
anyone who crossed it.
The police were called but took no action. The stone,
however, never arrived at the well and was left in a
To celebrate the victory mills were closed for the day
and a group of men purchased a barrel of beer from a
nearby public house and drank it beside the spring.
Although the spring still pours out gallons and gallons
of crystal clear water, it has become nothing more than
a watering place for cattle and the once well worn
flagstones on the footpath from Middleton are now