Page images

nothing that should be retained ; that it dries nothing but what's too moist and flaccid, and heats nothing but what 's too cold, and e contra; and that, “tho' no doubt there are some accidents and objections to the contrary,” it makes the lean fat, the fat lean, cures the cholick, and melancholy, and the vapours ; and thatfair reader-it cures all aches speedily, and cheareth the heart.


In 1631, only five years after Dr. Dean had set the Tewit well on the wings of Fame,” Dr. Stanhope discovered another Chalybeate well, about a quarter of a mile from it, not far from the Plumpton and Wetherby road, and took “leave to advertise” the public of the same, in that now rare tract, styled “ Cures without Care, or a summons to all such as find little or no help by the use of Physick to repair to the Northern Spaw.” It has the advantage of a more elevated and commanding situation than the Tewit well, which it has superseded, and is the chief Chalybeate water used at Harrogate. It seems to have acquired this distinction soon after its discovery; for, in 1656, great pains were taken to form a square terrace, sixty yards on each side, vestiges of which still remain, and to protect the enclosure by a stone, which records, “ All this ground, within these walkes, belonges to the Forist of Knaresbrough. 1656. John Stevenson.” In 1786, Alexander, Lord Loughbrough, who owned some property in the township, and was interested in the prosperity of Harrogate, generously erected a stone canopy over the spring, which was removed in 1842, when the present neat building was substituted.


Though the Sulphur waters engaged attention in the early part of the seventeenth century, and were then used, both internally and externally, it seems doubtful whether the well, now so justly celebrated, was much resorted to until the concluding period of the Commonwealth, when Dr. George Neale, of Leeds, a benevolent and enlightened man, applied himself to the promotion of their use, and the advancement of their condition, with a spirit that deserves a lasting memorial at the hands even of this distant generation. In a posthumous paper that has been published by Dr. Short, he thus records the means by which thousands have been blessed :—" There are (circ. 1676), and were about twenty years ago, three springs close together, very low and scarce of water, that all of them did not afford sufficient water for drinking and bathing. Wherefore, for the convenience of the drinkers, I thought it convenient to take up the uppermost spring, which is weakest and slowest of them, and made a large basin to contain several hogsheads of water, and covered it with a large stone to preserve it from the sun and rain water; and for a week together we rammed its sides with clay to prevent other springs from getting in. The event answered expectation: for we had a fresh spring of much better and stronger water, which afforded as much in one hour nou as it did in twenty-four before, more loaded with the minerals than ever, and so of greater efficacy for either bathing or drinking." It

[graphic][merged small]

is a remarkable fact, in the impregnation of these waters, that the second spring, which has been generally covered up, is not half the strength of the first or chief well, though it is but a yard distant from it. The third, which is about 16ft. removed, - though very potent, contains, like the weak well, a trace of sulphate of soda, which the old well does not. Being open to the public like the rest, it has been chiefly reserved for baths, and transmission to distant parts of the kingdom. To these three wells, an addition, very unwelcome at the time but very useful since, was made about a century ago, when a man, who, under the protection of a lease from the Earl of Burlington, had acquired a right of searching for minerals in the Forest of Knaresbrough, pretended to dig for coal, where the three sulphur wells are situate. From this attempt, the Innkeepers and others at Harrogate, who were interested in the preservation of the wells, persuaded him to desist by the payment of 1001. "Sulphur water, however," says the late Bishop of Llandaff, who records the story, “ had risen up where he had begun to dig : they enclosed the place with a little stone edifice, and, potting down a basin, made a fourth well.”

In 1804 the principal well was distinguished by a large dome supported by pillars; and thus it remained, with some minor improvements, until 1842; when, in justice to the importance of the Spa, and the proper and prudent conservation of its waters, the Commissioners, under the Harrogate Improvement Act, resolved to enclose the springs in a reasonable and efficient manner. An octagonal Pump Room, of ample dimension and appropriate decoration, was erected from the design of Mr. Shutt, a native of Harrogate, and opened on the 23rd of July, in that year ; but that this laudable arrangement might not interfere with the means or inclination of those who could or would not afford a trifling gratuity to the attendant, a pump, available under restrictions consequent only on the preservation of the water, is placed without the walls.

Analysis of the Contents of one gallon of the Sulphur Water :

[blocks in formation]

THE MONTPELLIER OR CROWN SULPHUR WELL, about 200 yards east of the old wells, is private property,

and appurtenant to the Crown Hotel. It was found in 1822, and is enclosed together with the Saline Chalybeate pump, connected with a spring at a small distance, in an octagonal apartment, in “the Chinese style.” The public have the benefit of these powerful springs by a trifling subscription; obtaining also thereby the gratification of walking in the adjoining Pleasure-ground.

One gallon of this Sulphur Water has been found to contain

[blocks in formation]

In the autumn of 1835 the proprietor of the Crown Inn sunk a well on his premises, 82 ft. from the old sulphur well, which was supposed to be thereby seriously injured. He was, consequently, indicted under the provisions of the Knaresbrough Forest Enclosure Act : but before the arguments were concluded, consented to surrender the room which enclosed it to the use of the public, for whose use he was required also to put down a pump. The order of the Court, which was also made a rule of the Court of King's Bench, enjoined that “the room be opened to the public from six in the morning until six in the evening of each day, and that the defendant shall only use the pump and water in common with the rest of the public;" though he was allowed to possess a key, apart from that used by the commissioners. He engaged also not to deepen any of the other wells on his premises.

[ocr errors][merged small]

is situate midway between Harrogate and Knaresbrough, and about 200 yards from the road-side. It obtained notice at an early period, and was one of the three sulphur springs which Dr. Dean, in 1626, considered “ worthy of the Physician's observation.” The subsequent improvement of the wells at Low Harrogate superseded its benefits, which, elsewhere, would have been invaluable ; and, in 1822, neglect and some degree of jealousy had so far combined, that its site was almost unknown. In that year the inhabitants of 1 Knaresbrough did justice to the valuable gift committed to their charge, by erecting an appropriate building over it, with a suite of baths, and a residence for the attendant. Its quality seems particularly adapted to delicate constitutions, and it has afforded relief when stronger waters have failed.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

The discovery of a water, which united the properties of a tonic, aperient, and alterative, was one of the greatest benefits that had occurred to Harrogate since the establishment of the old Sulphur well. It was found, together with the adjacent but disused Chalybeate, by Mr. Oddy, in 1819, while searching for sulphur water to supply the baths; and at the lower end of the little valley that has disclosed the chief wells of Low Harrogate. When the reputation of Harrogate became fixed on something more than the ephemeral attractions of a place of fashionable resort, the original pump-room was superseded by a spacious building, erected by the proprietor Mr. Williams, in 1835, in which the Doric style is applied to the exigencies of the case with taste and judgment. Not only the conservation of the water, but the amusement of its visitors is secured in this saloon, which is 100 feet long, 33 feet wide, and 27 feet high ; for, it affords, besides a most comfortable and luxurious promenade, an agreeable resort for the perusal of the newspapers, and such current literature of the day as can be selected from a library of several hundred volumes. The enterprise, also, of the present manager affords the frequent enjoyment of the first musical talent in the kingdom ; and other similar sources of refined pleasure. The appurtenant grounds are laid out with considerable effect, and afford-within limits more diversified than the site would induce many to suppose—a promenade of more than a mile in extent; and, of comfort, to be estimated best by those who have been, elsewhere, driven to the highways for their imperative ambulation. A sheet of water, albeit neither delectably clear nor dangerously deep, completes, as yet, the result of a meritorious undertaking, which few, interested in the prosperity of Harrogate, will be disinclined to patronise.

« PreviousContinue »