In those days the roads were infested with scoundrels and footpads, so perhaps it was no great surprise when Milburga saw her way blocked.
Two great, ugly men armed with clubs had jumped out from the brush at the roadside and now stood there demanding all her possessions.
Now Milburga was no reckless maid, she was an abbess of the nunnery at Wenlock, and a daughter of King Merewald of Mercia. She was wise enough to know that she still had the upper hand over these wastrels, after all, she was on horseback.
Her final goal, the church at Godstoke, stood less than a quarter mile ahead. She dug her heels deep into her horse's side and rode straight at her assailants.
The look on their faces was transformed. What was once a sneer had become wide-eyed horror. One fled right, the other to the left, before they were trampled into the mud.
Milburga galloped on, elated at the villains' defeat, but her concentration flagged and she did not see the rock in her path that caused her horse to stumble.
The good lady was flung from her horse and landed with a sickening thud against a wayside rock, cracking her skull. Blood gushed from her wound and, quickly, she fell into a faint.
Although unconscious her divinity allowed her to raise her hand in command to her chestnut steed. The horse rose upon its hind legs and crashed its hoof down against the offending rock. Healing waters gushed from the stone to bathe the saint's gash and, miraculously, she was well again with not so much as a scar to tell of her ordeal.
From that day on that spring has been known as St. Milburga's Well. It is said to have great powers to bestow on the sick and ailing, and no surprise after the great event that caused its inception.