The Old Sulphur Well has long maintained a high character for its superior medicinal properties, and is still the principal attraction of this distinguished Watering Place. Its waters were formerly received into a stone basin, covered with a simple dome resting on plain pillars (being, in fact, the same which now covers the Tewit Well), but this was superseded by the present Pump Room, erected in 1852, at an expense of about £1,900, by the Commissioners, under an Act of Parliament passed in 1841, for the improvement of the town.
This building was designed by Mr I T Shutt, architect, and is in form an irregular octagon, of which four sides project beyond the others, forming corresponding recesses in the interior; it is built in the most substantial manner, having Corinthian pilasters at the projecting angles, on a moulded sur-base and plinth, with entablature and cornice to correspond, and covered with a well-proportioned dome, the upper part of which is ornamented with classical figures of dolphins supporting a crown, having a blaze terminal; the interior is similar in character, but more embellished, the lofty dome being pannelled and ornamented with egg and tongue enrichments. There are four entrances to the room, and the whole is surrounded by a flagged terrace, enclosed with a neat iron palisading.
The water from the Old Sulphur spring, which is situated in the basement, under the drinking table, is conveyed into the glass vases on the table through tubes of Wedgewood-ware, by means of an exhausting apparatus, constructed and put up by
Mr Coffey, C.E., of London, which has the effect of completely preserving the water from exposure to the atmosphere or contact with metallic substances, and of delivering it in a pure state to the drinker. The subscription to the Pump Room for drinking the water is fixed by the Act of Parliament at one shilling per week; and by the same Act, which provides free access to the water at ail times, a pipe is fixed on the outside of the building to convey the water from the old basin to the free tap mentioned, for public use, free of any charge.
The waters are supplied in the room by attendants, at
1s per week for each person, 2s 6d. for three weeks, 3s for a month,
7s for the season; for a family, 4s for one week, 10s for three weeks,
12s for a month, and 20s for the season.