Record Details

NHER Number:30142
Type of record:Building
Name:Spring House

Summary

Around 1746, or shortly before, labourers engaged on works near this location uncovered 'an ancient basin, broken pavements and remains of adjacent buildings'. This was believed to be the remains of an early holy well or shrine. Following this discovery, the site quickly became known as a source of mineral water believed to have medicinal value, and in 1818 a spa was constructed. The spa continued in use until 1838, although water from the spring appears to have continued to be bottled for distribution in London for some time after its closure. The pump house from the spa is now a listed building and is in use as a private dwelling. The water from the spring now feeds a private swimming pool.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 8715 8263
Map Sheet:TL88SE
Parish:THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Around 1746, or shortly before, labourers engaged on works near this location uncovered 'an ancient basin, broken pavements and remains of adjacent buildings'. This was believed to be the remains of an early holy well or shrine. Following this discovery, the site quickly became known as a source of mineral water believed to have medicinal value, and in 1818 a spa was constructed. The spa consisted of a pumproom and baths and featured gravelled walks lined with trees known as the Spring Walks. Short-lived, the spa closed in 1838, although water from the spring appears to have continued to be bottled for distribution in London for some time after its closure. The pump house from the spa is now a listed building and is in use as a private dwelling. The water from the spring now feeds a private swimming pool.
Information from (S1-S2).
H. Hamilton (NLA), 02 July 2008.

1746 or shortly before. Casual Find.
Labourers engaged on works near to the spa uncovered 'an ancient basin, broken pavements and remains of adjacent
buildings'. Identified as an ancient holy well (S1, quoted in S2).
But how 'near' to the spa were the works? Nothing else has been recorded in this immediate area.
E. Rose (NLA) 24 November 1993.

1818. Construction of the spa.
The spa was rebuilt in 1818. A photograph of the house in 1820 (S2) shows differences in the appearance of house at ths time to present Spa House which might otherwise be accepted as original.
The spa closed in 1838 and is now used as a swimming pool.
E. Rose (NLA) 24 November 1993.

March 1971. Listed Grade II.
Pump room to spa, now a private house. This 2-storey, 3 bay gault brick building was constructed in 1818 and features French windows on the ground floor and sash windows on the first floor. Minor alterations appear to have been carried ouyt in the late 20th century including replacement of the central doors.
See (S3) for further details.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 02 July 2008.

For further information see also the Historic Gardens Survey for Spring Walks (S4).

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Lower Palaeolithic to Post Medieval)
  • HOLY WELL? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SPA (Post Medieval - 1818 AD to 1838 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1838 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • SWIMMING POOL (Post Medieval to Modern - 1900 AD? to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds

  • VESSEL (Undated)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

<S1>Monograph: Manning, M.. 1746. De Aquis Mineralibus..
<S2>Article in serial: Manning, M.. 1993. Taking the Waters in Norfolk.. Journal of the Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society. Vol 5, no 3, pp 134-92. pp 157-60.
<S3>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S4>Unpublished document: Taigel, A. 1997. Norfolk Gardens Trust: Town Gardens Survey - Volume One.

Related records - none

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