BEHIND the pub in Railway Road, Blackburn, is the site of an ancient spring and town well.

It is marked by a plaque, erected in 1955, which describes it as All Hallows Spring Well, the site in ancient times of pilgrimage and healing.

It was back in the 17th century, when an inscribed stone of Roman date was reputedly found in the area, next to the course of the River Blakewater.

The inscription commemorated the dedication of a temple to by a legate of legion VI Victrix, and this possibly indicates that the spring was the site of Roman religious worship.

The spring then became known as All Hallows and in Tudor times, local inhabitants would draw water from it, which flowed into a large stone trough, sunk into the ground and was approached by a narrow lane from Salford bridge.

Other wells around the time, included a draw well by the old market cross at the junction of Darwen Street and Church Street and St Mary's well, where the railway station now stands.

All Hallows also the object of pilgrimages, because of the water's medicinal qualities and it is this which led to the development of St Mary's Church and it's subsequent elevation to a cathedral.

As Blackburn's population soared in the early days of industrialisation the supply was inadequate and there were queues for water all day long.

Its decline started with the ever increasing search for water by the nearby Dutton and Shaw breweries.