Baal Hill Wood & Wolsingham Holy Well

Wandering the weird in the North Country, Borders & Pennines

Baal Hill Wood. Wolsingham. County Durham.

Despite its evocative name, Baal Hill Wood is not named in tribute to the Levantine god of biblical times, but perhaps refers to the old term ‘bale’ meaning a fire or beacon, or it could refer to a baal pit, an old industrial term which here may relate to the local lead smelting industry. Whether its name is sacred or profane, does not take away from the wood and its surrounding area’s history and atmosphere.

In the 14th Century the wood was the property of the Prince Bishops of Durham, but has passed through several hands since and is now under the care of Durham Wildlife Trust. Within the wood is an ancient Oak tree (400+ years old) known as The Bishop’s Oak.

The wood lies between a complex of expensive housing (in an area locally referred to as Hollywood because of its grandeur…

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