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This website Forum is provided to allow discussion concerning the local history of the Newton-le-Willows & Earlestown area.
(Any posts made to this forum not related to the local history of this area, or that are deemed unsuitable, will be moderated or deleted.)
Yes my Dad does mention that you come on this site, so hi.......
Im glad we have it cleared this query then, although I have seldom seen a topic/question answered so quickly and so accurately before.
So this was once an open well of some description and horses drank from it and the arch cover was to stop it becoming blocked up with leaves etc. Can you recall how deep it was?
Wonder when it was closed up and if something happened to have the council of the time close it up. I am presuming it was left open long after the horse and cart disappeared.
Its lovely to know something of the history of this Newton feature, so many thanks to StueyEd for bringing this to our attention.
So wish it could have been the blocked entrance to a hidden dungeon or secret passageway however. Read way too much of Enid Blyton as a kid....
yes i remember now, but i am sure they where still there in 1980, i used to wait there to pick up the Ex from Mc Corquodales,
is there a piccy of that anywhere out of interest.
I have one somewhere, but it was only about 7 years ago. I tried to Google images and came up with nowt. Surely there must be a photo somewhere as its a Newton icon....
Came across this extract from C. Cole's History of Newton in Makerfield which seems to confirm what Steven posted
"As regards this Pinfold, or Pound of the manor, stray animals were impounded until bailed out by their owners, who thus had to pay a fine for their carelessness. Between the years 1827 and 1845 this pinfold was removed to the other side of the quarry near the Pump in Southworth Road (opposite Mere Road) which site was so used until the year 1876, when the land being required for another purpose, the present Pinfold, adjoining Brooks Square, in Ashton Road, was built".
Found this in the library -- from a newspaper dated May 1915, pretty much answers everything about the archway/well.
ODDS and ENDS – By Dragnet – May 1915.
An old resident of Newton, with whom I had a chat the other day, was regretting the disappearance of old landmarks, very often without what he considered adequate notice being taken of the fact. The dismantling of the old village pump in Southworth Road was a matter which stirred up old memories. “I remember,” he said, “it’s just 53 years since the people of Newton – I mean Newton, mind you; Earlestown didn’t count then – bothered the Commissioners for a decent well, and at last, at one of their meetings, at the old hall at the corner of Park Road, the commissioners told their surveyor – Mr. Poulson. It was then – to make them a drawing of a Town Pump and a well, and to put a horse trough to it.”
“Things didn’t move in a hurry in those days. The Rev. Peter Legh and his vestry had been talking a long time about shifting the old market cross to make room for more graves, but it took eight or nine years to get it moved to Earlestown. However one nice day in June – I remember it was the year that Macaroni won the Derby  – the Commissioners took a walk past the Church and up the Southworth Road, to the place where the pump now stands, and they then and there said it was a good site, and told Mr. Poulson to get to work and sink a well.”
“The stone trough was a special sort of a job, so for this and for some of the stonework round about the well, they agreed to pay Mr Herriott, of Carrington, £16 10s. And so it was made, and for many a year after, as I see Mr. Sankey says (and he ought to know), it was noted as being the best water in Newton. Nowadays, of course, we have water laid on to all our houses, and the old pump has been mostly used by traction engines coming from other towns. I see from the papers that as many as 186 of these made use of the pump in four days, and were a great nuisance to residents, so it is no wonder that the old friend of our boyhood had to be got rid of.”
“When I lived in Tickle Street – you know where that used to be, of course, although you didn’t mention it the other day when you were writing about street names – there used to be lots of wells in Earlestown. And some of them are there yet, if you only knew where to look for them. I remember that it was in 1868 that the Commissioners got Lord Newton’s permission, through Mr. Pardey, to open up a well between Market Street and Haydock Street, and fix a ‘windle’ on it for the use of the public. I could tell you where to find some of these old wells yet. Ah, well, I won’t keep you any longer; I thought you would like to know about the old pump. Perhaps I may be able to rake you up something more one of these days.”
I've just discovered that the arch must have been rebuilt at some point.
Here is the arch in an earlier photo (date unknown)
and here is a current view
the arch is noticeably shorter.
at some point the rocks on either side have been reinforced (concrete?) and the spare stone blocks from the shortened arch have been reused to the right as part of the new wall.
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When it was said that the trough was for horses ,I did think it was rather low. But now i've seen the photo of the old arch it looks more likely. A very sympathetic reconstruction though I must say. Love the old photos by the way.
When I worked for the Vulcan they used what was called bore water which was pumped up from underground not from the main water supply but it was never used for drinking and if I remember right it always looked slightly yellow in colour. I was told that Newton sits on an artesian well that runs from her to Stoke on Trent but I don't know how true that is.
As a boy we always called it a "travellers' rest'. Looking at the photo, the design does remind me of some of the "conduits" in some towns . They were often 18th century or earlier, and did provide drinking water. Usually the water was piped to them, from a spring or similar source, using gravity. So the source would have been on slightly higher ground than the conduit. Or if it had been a well or similar, there would have been a spring on the spot.
I have spoke to my Dad regarding the arch on Southworth Road my Dad says it was used for giving horses a drink, when wagonettes a horse-drawn wagon for passenger transport was used before the motorised buses where used. He also said he can remember wagonettes being used. My Dad is 80 years of age and he has lived in newton all is life.
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