According to legend, King Oswald was killed in battle against King Penda at the Battle of Maserfield. A great bird carried off his arm and dropped it at this site from whence a spring arose …. St Oswald’s Well, Oswestry.
Reginald of Durham records the miracle, saying that his right arm was taken by a bird (perhaps a raven) to an ash tree, which gave the tree ageless vigor; when the bird dropped the arm onto the ground, a spring emerged from the ground. Both the tree and the spring were, according to Reginald, subsequently associated with healing miracles.
The name of the town, Oswestry, or “Oswald’s Tree”, is generally thought to be derived from Oswald’s death there and the legends surrounding it.
St Oswald’s Well is now a tranquil spot on Oswald’s Well Lane. The spring bubbles out and the site is topped by the sculpture of a ‘great bird’ that watches over the well.