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Chard used, collected and also distributed water from the same source and by the same means, from 1570 until 1928.

There were three springs just outside and above the town to the south of the High Street - Water House Spring, Russel’s Spring and Resurrection Spring.

Water House Spring was fed through lead piping (in 1830 a piece was found dated 1570) to a cistern under the High Street and from there to houses and public conduits.

Resurrection Spring was channelled into a large stone covered culvert, also to the High Street. It flowed, in open channels, as it does in parts today, down both sides of the High Street, The Cornhill and Fore Street and one side of Holyrood Street.

In 1886 the water was diverted into the cistern with only the overflow flowing down the streets. Russel’s Spring supplied Bath Place, Bath Street and later the Brewery. By the turn of the century none of these springs could meet the towns needs, but it wasn’t until 1928 that a deep well was sunk at Crow Shute with electrically powered pumps and a reservoir at the top of Snowden Hill that the town had a satisfactory water supply. This was opened with ‘rejoicing’ - in spite of its cost of £28,000 - in October 1928.

If you would like to share or you have different memories of Water you can message us on the Museum Facebook page, email us at, or visit us at the Museum or any Chard Revealed event.

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