For the good of the town
The Taylor Well (more popularly known as the Children's Well) was erected at the junction of Spring Gardens with Bridge Street, by local businessman Joseph Taylor, in 1886, to provide water for travellers entering Buxton at Sylvan Park, in the days before piped water was widely available. The well was constructed from polished pink granite, with a granite urn on top.
Unfortunately in the 1960's the well was vandalised and the granite urn smashed. The well was removed prior to the pedestrianisation of Spring Gardens, and has for many years languished in a corner of the council yard (below)
Joseph Taylor's daughter Janet was a founder member of the Buxton Group but unfortunately passed away in 1998. Naturally Janet was very keen to see her father's well restored, and the Buxton Group fully supported her in this ambition. The group started a fund for the restoration with a very generous contribution from Janet. The then chairman of the group, Brian George, did a lot of research into a source of granite to make a replacement urn and this information was passed to the High Peak Borough Council, together with the offer to contribute to the cost of the work with the fund that Janet had started. However nothing came of this and the neglected well continued to languish amongst the weeds.
Even though the well had been removed, local children still continued to decorate the site.
The decorated panels on the site of the Taylor Well in 1997.
In 1999, David Morten of the Buxton Group decided to try again to get things moving and contacted the High Peak Borough Council's Chief Conservation Officer, Richard Tuffrey, and with his help managed to get the urn restored. This involved a visit to London to find a similar well in Holland Park which David photographed to provide a design for the restoration team to work from.
Finally on December 17 2001 our dreams finally became reality. At 9.30 on a wintry morning we arrived for the 'turning-on' ceremony, only to find the pipes frozen! However these were soon cleared, and spa water flowed into the basin, steaming in the wintry air. The well looks magnificent in its new position atop a base of York stone.
Unfortunately Richard Tuffrey was unable to attend the ceremony, but the members present were able to present a cheque for £600 to Cllr Andrew Uprichard, as our contribution to the High Peak Borough Council.
Cllr Andrew Uprichard, David and Sheila Morten, Bill Barratt, Brian George, Mike Bryant and Joyce Craufurd-Stuart.
A bronze plaque on one of the square stones surrounding the well commemorates the restoration, the Buxton Group and Janet Taylor.
Created by David Morten