Pam the Fiddler

The tale takes place around Our Ladies Well in Threshfield, near Linton in Craven. The well was looked on as a sure and certain place of safety and refuge from all supernatural visitants, as shown by a certain legend; Pam the Fiddler.

'Awd Pam' (Pam the Fiddler) was a teacher at Threshfield school many years ago and as he played his fiddle to entertain his pupils a ghost would appear and stand listening to the music. Old Pam reputedly now haunts the old school at Threshfield as a demon schoolmaster murdered by a one time rector of Threshfield.

After Pam's death a local man returning home late one night saw Pams ghost on the roof of the school fighting with the local vicar and accompanied by imps. The witness sneezed, and the imps and Pam's ghost chased him; he took refuge in the shelter of the well where he stayed till cock-crow, safe from attack. 

Folklorists are more expansive, suggesting that 'Pam'is a corruption of the ancient God  'Pan', hedonistic guardian  of flocks and pipe playing seducer of maidens. Possibly there was a Romano-British shrine to him once at Threshfield, no doubt proscribed by the Christian Church long ago. 

The Well 

pam-fiddler
More usually known as Lady Well, this is one of several wells situated beside the River Wharfe on its long journey from Beckermonds in Langstrothdale to its meeting with the Ouse, North of Cawood. Threshfield is near Linton-in-Craven, on the upper stretches of the Wharfe and the Well of Our Lady emerges as a clear spring of water near to Grassington Bridge. The well is still known locally as a healing well with powers to strengthen weak eyes and scare off evil spirits.

This is one of several natural springs that run into the River Wharfe along its length. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and so considered to be a holy well. It attracted pilgrims from a wide area and still continues to draw visitors and pilgrims for a variety of reason, not least because it is a peaceful, beautiful spot hidden from the road on the path down to the river.