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The Towns Water Supply

Water Supplies

Ross-on-Wye's water supplies originally came from public and private wells situated around the town, many of which have since been filled in or capped over.

The first piped supplies to the town were setup by John Kyrle circa 1700 but this was not improved until Thomas Blake modernised the system in around 1850.

The following pages cover some of the wells and pumping stations that have supplied the town.

The Prospect and the Town's Water Supply

The Prospect was, at one time, a very important part of a system for the supply of clean and fresh water to the town.

The Prospect originally contained a fountain, constructed by John Kyrle, and the water was pushed up from the river by a pump. The location is believed to have been approximately where the War Memorial now stands but no drawings of its actual style or design have been found.

Under the Prospect is a water tank described as being "the size of a small ballroom" and has brick walls with flag stone flooring. This tank was last accessed in the 1960's and was found to be completely dry. Unfortunately since then the precise location of the man access point to the tank has been forgotten. The water was then sent around the town to public taps in the street for the townsfolk to use. This had completely fallen into disrepair by 1827 and water was a problem again.

Below is an example of an access point to the water that flowed out from the Prospect.

Access point to Prospect water supply
Access point to Prospect water supply
(Click for a larger image)
Inside the water course
Inside the water course
(Click for a larger image)

Thomas Blake established the Alton Court Water Works in 1887 and this helped to solve the problem of how to get fresh water into the town. He then built a reservoir in the Prospect which was supplied by a gas or oil powered pump that was located in a building by the Hope and Anchor pub at the end of the Rope Walk. The water was distributed around the town via a pipe network and the largest user was likely to be the brewery and the system is believed to have been finally abandoned around the time the brewery closed.

The reservoir has since also been filled in and the pump, and building that housed it, have since been removed so very little physical evidence remains of the efforts put in the water supply that must have been so important to the town.

1 Wells and Springs of Herefordshire - HM Stationary Office - 1935

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[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:58]

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