DERBYSHIRE HERITAGE Derbyshire Peak District - higger-tor


Erected in 1829, known locally as "The Fountain" and having a capacity of 1500 gallons of water. It was built, from local gritstone, by Edward Twyford at a cost of £31.10s., to provide a head of water when a public supply was first brought to the village. The height of the first spring was 630 feet above sea level and the base of the tank was 605 feet, thus allowing a 25 feet head of water. The cost to the villagers was 6d. per annum and water could be obtained between 6 am. and 6 pm. daily when access to the single tap was unlocked by the overseer. The erection of the "fountain" marked the culmination of a campaign by local women, led by Miss Hannah Bowman, who had previously been obliged to lug water up from the River Bradford, which was really too hard for wash day. Softer water was piped from the Mawstone Spring, across the valley. In later years, water was piped to street taps and eventually into people's homes.

The supply deteriorated due to the rotting and collapse of the pipe, and it was decided to lay a new one, this time from a different spring in Bleakley Wood (SK.217629) near to Mawstone Spring. The cost of this was estimated as £400, a considerable sum for a small village to raise in the 1860's. Four local benefactors came to the rescue and the men in the village were required to do the digging, 'and he who could not do his share paid another man to do it for him'. On 27th July 1869, a second opening ceremony was held at the same stone tank, followed by celebrations on a grand scale. There was a public dinner for 300 persons in the new schoolroom, 400 children marched behind the Matlock Brass Band, and it all finished with a great public tea.

The site of the conduit was originally occupied by a Saxon cross.

Youlgrave Fountain
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