b'Wilton WaterMike TannerI n the summer of 2002 whilst we were doing buildingwater sources.work at Cliff Farm we decided to lift a large millI knew of other wells and pumps in the village but stone, which the previous owner Clive Campbell hadwas delighted to find that the Ordnance Survey map told us was covering a well.As the JCB lifted theof 1892 recorded many of them:stone all was revealed - a magnificent circular stone- From the map it appears there is a definite well built construction, which seemed to go down andline on both sides of the village. The water levels down. seem to rise and fall and so I can only assume that The water level was seven foot below and I foundmost of the wells are fed by underground springs.a pole to test the depth.This just kept on going,The wells would originally have been drawn by bucket, but eventually after two extensions were added thewith the mechanical pumps added later. I expect that bottom was reachedtwenty-six foot down.Themany wells were shared between households. water looked crystal clear so we lowered a milk bottleRichard Sefton pointed out a mound in the front of and gathered a sample. In my excitement I took athe Manor House field which he reckons was one of swig, it tasted beautiful and fresh.On reflection andthe earliest village communal wells, before most of the after some sarcastic comments from our friendly localhouses as we know them today were built.builders, I wondered if I would be struck down byOne of my favourite old postcards from Bishop some dreaded lurgi! The hours passed and I survived. Wilton shows the village pump with its picket fence After all, I thought, Wilton people had used theseabove the spring opposite Nos 72 and 73 Main wells for centuries before the days of the tap.LaterStreet. The little girl in the picture was Joyce Inman.I resolved to do more investigation into these villageI wondered what date this was erected. So I 24 BULLETIN 3'