Lecture: The History and Hydrogeology of the Minor Spas of South West England

Speaker: Professor John Mather

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

From Elizabethan times onwards, wealthy people of rank travelled to centres such as Bath and Buxton to “take the waters”. In addition to these large centres, a network of minor spas developed to provide for the middle and professional classes and for the poor. A number of small spas in Somerset and Dorset achieved brief fame in the following centuries for the medicinal properties of their waters. There was such a rush to Alford Spa, near Castle Cary, in the 1670s that there was insufficient water to serve all the patrons. Horwood Spa, near Wincanton, had its own bank in 1809 although the enterprise was bankrupt by 1819. Nottington Spa, near Weymouth, was described as ‘the only pure sulphureous spa in England’. The history and geology of these and other minor spas will be described and the origin of the mineral waters discussed.

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