Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Brigg Town Council's decision to look into refurbishing the town's communal pumps, which survive in Grammar School Road South and on Bridge, Street, interested Blog reader Ken Harrison.
He says St Helen's Well is a Victorian ediface (in a field between Brigg and Wrawby) to which access can be gained via a local farmer, and it's interior is tiled!
Ken adds: "I believe the water pumps were the communal outlets from St Helen's Well. Water was gravity-piped to these pumps - plus a tap in the graveyard. I think the graveyard's supply pipe burst in the 1930s and caused severe flooding. Beneath these pumps, I understand, are water tanks, which are waterproofed from the water-table's ground water, from which water is obviously pumped. I understand that the more excutive homes in Brigg were piped directly from St Helen's Well.
"Fresh water for a time helped to improve health conditions..but very quickly the below-ground tanks were contaminated with overflowing sewage (the poorer houses did not have any effective drains) and water-borne diseases affected the population of Brigg.
"The pumps were no longer used and in time St Helen's Well ceased to function as Brigg's water supply.
"In contrast, the well for Sargeant's Brewery (located beneath an iron lid in the passage between the brewery tower and the brewery manager's house and now protected by a metal entrance gate) drew water from the high water table.
"Any contamination of this water was eradicated during the brewing process.
"Here endeth me local history lesson on the water pumps and the like...