Surrey 5 – Catherine’s Hill and Artington Well

Surrey 5 – Catherine’s Hill and Artington Well
Having been unable to locate St Catherine’s Well using my phone app, I was now heading for the next site of the day – Artington Well. Which, unsurprisingly, was in the town of Artington, Surrey.
As I drove into Artington I was looking for a place to park up which was close to the river alongside which I hoped to locate the well. The town is on a hill, and I went down into the centre of the town and up the other side. Nope – couldn’t find anywhere suitable to park. I went back along the same road and this time I was two perfect parking spots just off the road, so I pulled in and parked. As I got out of the car and got my stuff I noticed a lovely path up a small hill. Looked interesting, so I went to the foot of the path and looked at the sign. This was St.Catherine’s Hill!
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As the hill seemed to want to be found I decided to go see what it was about, and why I was so obviously drawn here. I walked up the gentle incline and soon I was afforded spectacular views of conurbations nestled in nearby hillsides and valleys on all directions.

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As I stood at the top I seemed to be drawn to one particular spot. As I stood on that spot I tuned into the spirit of the hill. Catherine’s Hill is a fire site. That much I can tell you. It has been a beacon hill before, I felt. Now it seemed to want to be set ablaze again, but as I didn’t have anything to make a fire I decided that I would set a spiritual fire instead.

I stood on a power centre and linked the seven hills to this Hill. Drawing in their energies in turn this seemed to power my efforts to create a mental blaze. Soon I had sufficient energy to be able to imagine a roaring fire on the hill’s summit, and the light acted as a beacon to the surrounding landscape. The land seemed to react with a “noticing”. Attention was drawn to the hill, and in response the “heat” of the fire permeated out to warm those who could see this spiritual fire. My eye was drawn particularly to a distant wood and hill, which I now know to be St Martha’s Hill, and which is the line of The Pilgrim’s Way ancient track.

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This excellent site was more detail on this area and its trackway and mythology in an article called “When You Get Home (Waverley)” (megalithicempire.com):

“A ‘Catherine hill’ is always of interest especially here where it is twinned with a St Martha’s Hill and both with ‘chapels of ease’ on their summits. Chapels-on-a-hill are built over former standing stones, in this case acting as waymarkers for megalithic travellers coming up from the Channel coast.”

Having united the surrounding hills and felt the re-kindling of the spiritual energies of this site, and felt the flow of the energy move along the Pilgrim’s Way, I felt it was time to go find the well itself. Guided only by intuition I walked off the river side of the hill and followed a crumbling and precarious path down through bright yellow sand. I picked up some of the yellow sand for use later, and headed down the slope to the River Wey.

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Catherine’s Hill and nearby Chantry Woods

The Art of Artington

Arriving at the river the first feature I noticed was beautiful bridge, presumably placed at the point where the ferry used to cross. I crossed over and walked on the other side of the river  and from there I could look back and see the well directly opposite me – about fifty yards away from where I just descended the hill! Hey ho – back I went. Serves me right for turning off my intuition and being dazzled by design.

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The well is situated at the foot of the hill next to the river and close to the bridge, at the end of a path down the hillside. It looks like its surroundings have been moulded to create a little grotto feel, with its odd little bridge, a plaque which relates a short poem, and a dedication to someone who loved the spot.

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I tried to find a comfortable spot where I wouldn’t be disturbed so that I could meditate there, but despite it being a week day there was a lot of passing foot traffic! Students were using the river path to get to college, and dog-walkers were in an almost constant round of passing and scooping.

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I was able to find a moment where I could get deeply enough into meditation that I could tune into the spirit of the well. It was a small spirit which enjoyed the babbling waters, and enjoyed the energy of the passing people. It seems that the spirit of this well likes to hear the communication going on around it.

I asked what the well water was good for, and the spirit revealed that it was good for throat infections and mumps. This was indicated by a temporary lumpy feeling in my throat glands, and a rasping feel to the back of my throat.

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Then I tried to feel for the form of the spirit of the spring. It presented itself as a coiling spiral which formed into a robin. Seconds later a robin landed onto a nearby tree branch and began to chirrup at me. I whistled back to the robin. More throats communications, I thought. Clearly it really did enjoy communication!

I paid my respects and took my leave, heading back up the tarmac path to quickly pass the railway which goes through the heart of Catherine’s Hill, and then back to my car. What an odd little series of encounters, I mused. I like this Pilgrim’s Way. I’d like to walk it’s length one day.

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