Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Deep Is Your Well...?

Well, chances are these folks in England have you beat, especially for a hand dug well!

When you read a story like this, it gives you an idea just what folks can do if they don't give up. Of course, it helps to have a lot of friends to help as well!


Woodingdean Well




 In 1858, in the town of Woodingdean, England, plans were drawn up for a new building to be constructed and added to a nearby industrial school for troubled juveniles. A source of water was required, but it was decided that pumping water in from elsewhere was not cost-effective. The construction of Woodingdean Well began, supplemented with adult laborers from a nearby workhouse to further lower the costs. All digging was done by hand, with buckets of earth hand-winched up to the surface.

The initial plan was for a 122-meter (400 ft) brick-lined well. After two years of digging, the well had reached 134 meters (438 ft) below the surface (and slightly below sea level), and still no water had been found. At this point, horizontal shafts were dug in four directions, also without success. The men in charge of the project refused to admit defeat, and ordered a new vertical shaft started at the end of one of the horizontal ones.

This shaft was dug for another two years with men working 24 hours a day to dig and lay bricks. The only light was from candles, and conditions were such that many men worked naked in the cramped shaft. Finally, on March 16, 1862, a bricklayer noticed that the ground at the bottom was beginning to slowly rise upwards. He and the other workers spent a tense 45 minutes climbing up and out of the well before water rushed upward, finally signaling success. After four years of stubborn digging, Woodingdean Well had reached 392 meters (1,285 ft) deep, making it the deepest hand-dug well in the world.

Four years of digging with the only light being that from candles...that makes a hard job even harder. I'd say these diggers had no quit in them. What a job!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

10 comments:

Mamahen said...

Wow..that's all I can say :))

Chickenmom said...

Had to look that one up, Mr. Hermit! Do you know it is as deep as the Empire State building is tall? Raining and chilly here - I'll bring the Dunkins.

Sixbears said...

I hand dug my well when I was a teenager. Provides all the water we've ever needed and overflows. It's a good 5.5 feet deep. Location is everything.

Using some of that well water to brew my coffee right now.

linda m said...

I give those men a lot of credit. Since I am claustrophobic that is not a job I could do. Glad they finally found water. Very chilly here this AM, frost on the pumpkins.

thecottagebythecranelaketwo said...

It takes a stubborn brit or many in this case to keep on digging like that :-)

The well I get my water from is drilled and only 50 meters deep :-)

Have a great day!
Christer.

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Perserverance! A mostly good trait...

Dizzy-Dick said...

It is amazing what people can do. Of course, I don't believe those workers had a choice. How did they get them in and out of that well? I guess with the hand winch.

Momlady said...

And I thought mine was deep at 440 feet. Not hand dug, though. But still, 400 feet of it was through granite. Nice sweet water.

Rob said...

I wonder how many bricks they used?

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
Not much else you can say after reading something like this!

Thanks for stopping by today!



Hey Phyllis...
Hard to believe, isn't it? I figured you would look it up!

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Sixbears...
That's about as far as I could dig by myself.

Thanks for dropping by today!



Hey Linda M...
I don't think I could do it either! I'd be too nervous about a cave in!

Thanks for the visit today!



Hey Christer...
4 years is a long time to dig on just a guess! Glad they could stick it out!

I appreciate you coming over today!



Hey Sis...
That it is, without a doubt!

Thanks, sis, for stopping in today!



Hey Dizzy...
It talks about how it took them 45 minutes to climb out, so I reckon they used a LONG ladder!

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Momlady...
Good to see you again! I reckon that 440 feet seems like a lot to most folks, even being dug by machine. I wonder how many drill bits your well diggers went through?

Thanks for the visit this morning!



Hey Rob...
That's a very good question. I wonder if I can find out the number used somewhere on the net?

Thanks for stopping by today!