Tenbury Wells Pump Rooms.
At first the favoured site was on a meadow opposite the Swan Hotel after the sites of Mr. Raggatts in Berrington Road and Mr. Tranters of Berrington house had been turned down. In fact by January 1861 the Company made great play of the first sod of the well in the Swan Meadow, with the Tenbury Volunteers playing a big part in the ceremonies. Presumably they wanted to ensure that there was mineral water at the site before building baths , promenades, etc.
It is not known what decided them to build the Spa on the Crow site rather than the Swan site. It is probable that the reason was that the Crow site had proven mineral water, it having been analysed. The site was now owned by S. H. Godson, the leader in the search for a site. At any rate the main aim of the Tenbury Wells Improvement Company was to come to fruition. That was in following Grenville's guidelines by building baths, pump rooms, promenades, hotels, boarding house and walks.
The Tenbury Wells Improvement Company took a 99 year lease on the site behind the Crow. Mr. Thomas Morris, well sinker, was instructed to remove the whole of the bricks, curls and ironwork from the old mineral well by the Swan Inn and covey the same to the garden adjoining the Crow Inn and use the same in or about the enlargement and complition of the new well. The old well, at the Crow was thoroughly cleaned and sunk deeper with a reservoir at the bottom and it was 'steined' so that fresh water might not enter i e, a wall of tiles was made in the well. The design of the pump rooms was put out to contract.
In 1862 Mr. James Cranston of Birmingham was given a contract to design a new Spa building with Mr. Smith of Tenbury doing the building, the building to cost approximately £1000. The Spa consisted of 2 halls with a Pump Room ( 32ft x 20ft ) with a recess in which a handsome fountain is placed. On the other side of the halls were bathrooms and an attendants cottage. An octagonal tower was built containing the well and pumps. the whole were surrounded by pleasure grounds. The Well was 58ft from the surface and produced mineral water at the rate of 20 gallons hour. The smell was said to be something like when a gun was discharged.
James Cranston was already the architect for the Round Market, The Corn Exchange and the National School and so his work was known to the Improvement Company. He got the idea for the design of the Spa from some greenhouses he was designing at Holmer, near Hereford. In 1862 he published a book about a newly patented design for Horticulural Buildings and he used this principle for The Tenbury Spa replacing glass panels with those of sheet steel, It was erected on a pre-fabricated principle being one of the first in the country. The wrought iron plates and cast iron clips with foliated ends were made in Birmingham and erected on site. The building was described as being 'Chinese Gothic'. The roof was painted in French Grey with rolls between being deeper and bluer in shade. The Spa was supposed to attract the 'Middle to Working Class'.
These are copies of the original drawing made for the construction of the pump rooms.
G Smith of Tenbury was chosen as the builder after his price of £945 was accepted.
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