For six years I wrote a short history
article in the monthly parish magazine,
The Pelican. One of the articles is
shown in the column opposite.
Articles can be accessed by
clicking on the appropriate title from
the index below.
If anyone has any old photographs or
parish information which they would like
recorded (for present and future
generations to share) then please get in
touch with me.
John Davison (Website Co-ordinator)
Acklington History Slot
La’ Well Tree
May is the month when trees are bursting with life and
energy. Blossoms and fresh new leaves abound on
branches everywhere. I am very fond of trees. Trees
have always been significant in Acklington Parish and I
hope they continue to be so. This month I would like to
tell you about the La’ Well Tree which at one time
played an important part in the history of the parish.
Sadly this tree and the “lower well” from which it got
its name are long since gone.
Before Acklington Church was built in 1861, most people
in the area went to Warkworth Church for christenings,
marriages and burials. When someone died at Acklington,
those who could not walk all the way to Warkworth for
the funeral would walk with the corpse as far as the
Lower Well Tree. After a suitable rest under the tree’s
branches, and when all the appropriate prayers and
goodbyes had been said, the cortège would head off for
Warkworth while many of the mourners would trudge back
to their homes and daily chores.
Matthew Purvis wrote a poem called “The La’ Well Tree”
in 1858, just a few years before his own corpse was
carried past the lower well on its way to its last
resting place. There is an inscription to him on a
gravestone in Warkworth churchyard. Astonishingly he
wrote the poem when he was only 16 years of age to mark
the passing of the tree which had obviously meant so
much to him. And when he died (aged only 19) his body
may well have been the last to be carried past the lower
well as the church in Acklington was built that very
year. Life is always full of strange coincidences.
Anyhow, I will leave you with Matthew’s poem. I am
sure, if he’s looking down, he will have a quiet chuckle
to himself in the knowledge that, although his life was
short and his favourite tree has gone, his fine poem
lives on and is being read by parishioners of Acklington
and Warkworth all these years later.
The La’ Well Tree
by Matthew Purvis
Raving the ruthless elements
For ages swiftly sped
The king of trees that’s borne the breeze
Is numbered with the dead.
more its loved majestic form
My longing eye shall see
When homeward bound, what joy was found
When I saw the La’ Well Tree.
monitor sad of days gone by
From sin and sorrow free
When as a boy I did enjoy
My sports by the La’ Well Tree.
Witness too of greatest grief
To thee the corpse was borne
When man, of breath deprived by death,
Was from his dear friends torn.
P.S. I would love to know where both the lower
well and the “La’Well Tree” were situated. Is there
anyone out there who knows?
John Davison (Tel: 01670 760609)