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The Isle of Wight branch of the Campaign for Real Ale

Whitwell Water Stanchions

images/water Along the roadside in the village of Whitwell are a number of red pillars which are reminders of days not too long ago when few rural homes could boast the luxury of a piped water supply. Whitwell was named because of its available village well water but many a home did not have its own well.

In 1887 William Spindler a German philanthropist who lived at Old Park in St. Lawrence helped to fund a village water supply which could be accessed through these stanchions. The reservoir for this supply was excavated at nearby Bierley. All villagers were then able to bring buckets to the stanchions and draw pure water from them.

Although this system fell out of use when piped water came to the village the water supply was still available and villagers today can recall children drawing water into the metal cup which used to hang by the side. With commendable forethought the village elders have decided to preserve what was at the time a radical modernisation and dramatic improvement of the local way of life