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Tyne and Wear HER(6971): Low Fell, Durham Road, Carter's Well - Details

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Low Fell, Durham Road, Carter's Well

Low Fell


Water Supply and Drainage

Water Sorage Site


Early Modern



Once a mere spring "oozing out of a hillside", where in summer people had to watch all night and take water up with a saucer. The water supply to the well was substantially improved when a drift was excavated in this direction from Sheriff Hill Colliery (HER 3780) and water was found in old coal workings. Thomas Wilson, chairman of the local committee at the time, described the well in his poem "Pitman's Pay" - "No other spring wiv it can vie; it is a tap that ne'er runds dry - a cellar where a rich supply suits every rank and station. And it awd age myekes tipple fine, wors mun, aw think, be quite devine; for it's a batch of Adams wine we gat at the Creation". Another verse reads: "The reet ower the Fell and by Cairter's famed well, where the witer like wine ye see a'ways runnin', and is better by far then the poor blashy yel, folks get in Newcassel or even in Lunnon". In another poem Wilson praises the well once more: "Upon their vicars pant they dwell, a varry muddy waiter, compared wi' canny Carter's Well, se famed for drinking waiter… here [at the Sovereigh Public House near to the well] oft wor drouthy lads will meet, and sit till they be fuddled; and then the Well's the place at neet, for lasses getting cuddled". In 1824 when Durham Road was built two long cobbled approaches were built to the well from the road to allow cattle to drink from it. The work said to have cost £20 which was a sizeable sum of money at the time. Carter's Well was Low Fell's main source of water until the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company supplied the village with a water supply in the late nineteenth century. Gateshead Council closed the well in 1895 having found a sample to be contaminated with foreign bodies. It has remained closed ever since, but the pump was restored in 1994. Carter's Well - stone inscription says 1856. Cast iron pump on Durham Road with spring handle and domed cap. On stone step. Spout above a stone dog trough. The well itself is on a lower level below Durham Road. Stone archway built into retaining wall of Durham Road. Stone inscription below arch says "Carter's Well 1856". Substantial vaulted space under Durham Road through springhead opening. Local residents have formed the "Friends of Carter's Well". They are hoping to secure funding to improve the setting of the well, develop a garden and seating area. Discussions are ongoing with Gateshead Council. LISTED GRADE 2




Department of National Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, 10/78; Gateshead Library Local Collections, 1849, Records of Remarkable Events in Gateshead; Gateshead Guardian 3 March 1895; personal comments, Friends of Carter's Well; Ian Ayris, Peter Jubb, Steve Palmer and Paul Usherwood, 1996, A Guide to the Public Monuments and Sculpture of Tyne and Wear, p 44

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