We were informed that the well, which isn’t circular, is more likely to be a culvert due to the straight sides, and that it could have been constructed in the mid 1700s or earlier due to the age of the rest of the building.
Before the days of mains water supply, many households would have relied on wells and pumps. It is interesting to note that the well is not recorded on the 1887 Ordnance Survey maps.
The water has not been tested to see if it is spring water. The depth from the top of the well to the top of the silt is 4.3 metres and we were informed that the water would never overflow. In order to preserve the well, a load bearing wall had to be dismantled and the well has been capped off to ensure that the water course is not affected.
Tesco Regional Corporate Affairs Manager, Mark Thomas said “We were amazed to find the well during our work on the Cross Keys. It has lain undiscovered for many years and we were enthusiastic about sharing the discovery with the community, inviting Estelle and Steven to see the well before it was once again covered over. We have collaborated closely with the Council to ensure that the well will be treated with the respect it deserves as we build our new store and cover it safely. We’ve made sure that information about the well and photographs of it have been shared so that future generations will know more about the Cross Keys’ history.”
Asked how the well/culvert was discovered, one of the workers said they dug down into the floor....and nearly lost the shovel!