Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Medieval well found inside Cupola House

PUBLISHED: 09:47 12 October 2012

Well found in Cupola House, Bury St Edmunds

Well found in Cupola House, Bury St Edmunds

Archant

ENGINEERS rebuilding a 17th Century building which was devastated by fire have discovered a suspected medieval well.

Flames tore through historic Cupola House, in the Traverse, Bury St Edmunds after a fire – started in the basement kitchen of the Strada restaurant – spread through the Grade 1 Listed building’s ventilation system.

Workers, who are currently removing heat and smoke damaged material from the seat of the blaze, said the cover of the well was discovered after a vinyl floor covering was removed.

David Clarke, project engineer with Richard Jackson Ltd, said: “It is certainly something we have never discovered before. No one we have spoken to that have been advising us during this rebuilding process had told us about it, so it was completely unexpected.”

Mr Clarke said they only realised what they had found in the cellar when they lowered a lamp through the hatch.

The well, which is 9 metres deep and 12 metres below street level, is said to be structurally sound but does not contain any water.

He added: “We removed some slurry from the bottom but there was no water

“Due to abstraction of water in Bury over many years, the water table is now below the bottom of the well.”

The future of the well, like the rest of the building, is now under discussion.

Much of the building, apart from the distinctive frontage, will be pulled down to allow renovation work to continue.

Mr Clarke said: “The well is not in the way at the moment, we can work round it. I hope it will be retained, given that it’s not causing a particular problem.”

He added that it is possible that the well, which is cut into chalk, could be turned into a glass-topped feature to allow people look down it.

But Mr Clarke said the position of the well in the cellar would mean it probably would not be accessed by members of the public.

The well, which pre-dates the construction of the five-storey Cupola House in 1693, will now be researched and hopefully dated by the Suffolk Archaeological Service.

The East Anglian Daily Times previously reported that an investigation by Suffolk Fire and Rescue service had concluded that the fire “started accidentally in the basement kitchen of the building and then spread to the rest of the building initially via the kitchen ventilation system.”

A spokesman added: “The exact fault that led to the fire is still being investigated by the various insurance companies involved, however we know that it started on, in or around the main oven.”

Related articles

The drunk driver who drove at 124mph prior to the collision which killed 22-year-old beauty therapist Lauren Danks on the A11 had two previous convictions for dangerous and drink-driving.

Organises saw a very successful turnout to the event which allows passengers to express their opinions on public transport services in the area.

A man who groped women on buses in Colchester has been ordered to receive mental health treatment.

Heavenly Hair in Saxmundham has been named as a finalist in the Independent Salon - Business Newcomer category, sponsored by Sweet Squared, at the British Hairdressing Business Awards, hosted by Hairdressers Journal International.

A group of 49 aspiring doctors from schools across Suffolk and Essex got a hands-on look at what it takes to have a career in medicine.

Essex Police are appealing for information to help find a woman from Clacton who is wanted in connection with an attempted murder in the town.

The jury in the trial of two men accused of raping a woman after a night out in Lowestoft is expected to retire to consider its verdicts today (Thursday).

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24