October 27th, 2016

Leamington spa history returns home

PART of Leamington’s spa history has returned to the town.

The Aylesford Well basin, from the well house that stood over the original source of spa water – has been acquired by Leamington Art Gallery & Museum. The spring was located on the Earl of Aylesford’s land, just outside outside All Saints Church.

In 1803 the 4th Earl had the well house erected over the spring. A basin was located inside the well house and a pump handle on the outside ensured everyone could access the water free of charge.

It was thought that the basin had been lost when the well house was demolished in 1961.

But it had been rescued from the rubble by local resident Pavel Hodáĉ. He asked the workmen for permission to take it, before transporting it to his house on Almond Avenue in a wheelbarrow.

The basin passed on to Mr Hodáĉ’s son, Paul, who took it with him when he moved to Norfolk.

It was in safekeeping with the family for over 50 years, until Paul recently contacted the museum to arrange to return the basin to the town.

Senior Curator Victoria Slade said: “Leamington’s fame and fortune were built on the spa waters and the Aylesford Well played a crucial role in this.

“We are overjoyed that such an important piece of the town’s history has been returned home.”

There are plans to put the basin on display in the Museum, alongside the pump handle from Aylesford’s Well.