Thursday, 5 September 2019

Quiz Part 2

Thank you to everyone who took part in the quiz. Previously when I have done a quiz maybe five or six people have give the correct answer, but this time there was only one.
The winning entry was given by Jim at Parnassus  whom I congratulate, as this was by no means an easy quiz.
Barbara at Coastal Ripples also deserves a mention even though her idea that it was a public bath house was incorrect. 
Tenbury Wells is a Spa town, and this attractive building was designed to house their Pump Room and Spa.

Following the discovery of saline springs in 1839 at Tenbury Wells this unusual little building, given the curious architectural description of 'Chinese Gothic', was designed and built in 1862 to hold a Pump Room and Spa. The Spa was aimed at attracting the 'Middle to Working Classes' unlike most other Spa towns and cities such as Bath, Royal Leamington Spa, Royal Tunbridge Wells, or Buxton, whose appeal was to Royalty, and the wealthy more fashionable end of the market. 
James Cranston of Birmingham was given a contract to design the new Spa building with a Mr. Smith of Tenbury Wells doing the building. Cranston was already well known in the town as he had previously designed a Round Market, a Corn Exchange and a National School.
He got the idea for the design from some greenhouses that he was designing at Homer, near Hereford. In Tenbury Spa he replaced glass panels with those of sheet steel, which was then erected using a pre-fabricated principle being one of the first in the country. 
This part of the building held one of two large halls with a recess where a handsome mineral water fountain was placed to enable visitors to "imbibe the waters". 

Whereas the hall on the other side of this entrance doorway housed the segregated baths for the men and women. There were consulting rooms to enable rheumatic and arthritic visitors to discuss their ailments with the spa's doctor, and also an attendants cottage.  
The small windows on the right side are high in order to provide privacy to the bathers.

The pump room itself was in this octagonal tower. The well was 58ft from the surface and produced mineral water at the rate of 20 gallons per hour. The smell was said to be pungent and reminiscent of a gun when it is discharged!

Click here and take a walk around the inside of the building, now home to Tenbury Wells Town Council.

There has been a crossing over the River Teme into Tenbury since the 13th century, but this historic bridge is known to have been rebuilt by Thomas Telford following flood damage in 1795. The bridge is now a National Heritage, Grade 1, listed monument. The middle of the River Teme forms a dividing border between two counties - Worcestershire and Shropshire. 


Tenbury Wells itself is a quiet country market town, but in the 16th century it was situated on one of the main highways from London to the North of the country. Stagecoaches would rest at one of several coaching inns in and around Tenbury to facilitate a change of horses or an overnight stop. 

 The town lies in an area renown for its orchards, with it's apple trees being a prime target for the parasitic mistletoe plant. Mistletoe lives off the fruit trees nutrients and water which although it weakens the trees, it does not harm them. 
Due to the amount of mistletoe growing in the area, Tenbury has now become a national institution for its Annual Mistletoe and Holly auction which has been held there for the past 160 years.  

Merchants along with interested people flock to the town to both buy and watch this quaint festive auction taking place at the beginning of December in time for the Christmas season.
Although this delightful small market building appears to look round it is actually oval in shape. This building was also designed by the Spa's architect, James Cranston. 
It was a Sunday when we visited and all was quiet inside this quaint market, but a market is still held here three times a week. 
Queen Victoria referred to Tenbury as "my little town in the orchard".

29 comments:

  1. Oh, Rosemary! That was a wonderful tour of such a beautiful little town and what a gorgeous building! Seeing your photos of the whole building really brings it to life. I clicked on the link. You really know your history and how to bring it to life for your readers. Thank you. Best, Jane x

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment - I am delighted that you enjoyed seeing and learning more about this delightful building.

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  2. Well well. It's not the sort of spa that I am used to! At least I got the date right! Very interesting, thank you.

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    1. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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  3. Thank you for the mention. I’m kicking myself now as we visited Tenbury Wells several years ago and I remember very well that building! It’s a lovely town with a curious bijoux cinema where we enjoyed a live screening of an Opera! B x

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    1. Yes, we saw that curious little cinema too - it is a town of interesting delights.

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  4. A beautiful town replete with history. I had not taken the quiz since I simply did not know the answers, and I console myself in the fact that living in a different country renders me somewhat less likely to know the intricacies of Britain. I am sure that I could come up with an arcane quiz about Canada that would leave people unfamiliar with my country equally stumped. It was a great tour, however.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour - I too thought that it would be a resident of the UK who would give the correct answer, however, as it happens, Jim is neither British nor has he ever lived here.

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  5. I would have never guessed. Beautiful structure!

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  6. What a pretty town Tenbury is. The information about the pump room is very interesting. Kudos to Jim for the correct answer! The river looks so peaceful with that lovely stone bridge. It must have been a warm day with the people in the water.

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    1. I applaud Jim he did incredibly well with his answer - we were there just over a week ago, and it was a really lovely warm day.

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  7. Hello Rosemary, The first building I thought of when I saw your photos was the Chicago Water Tower, one of the few buildings to survive the infamous 1872 Chicago fire. I also was reminded of the elaborate pump rooms in spas such as Saratoga Springs, New York or Hot Springs, Arkansas. Tenbury Wells looks like a fascinating place, and I was glad of your introduction to its unique and festive architecture.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I was greatly impressed that you gave the correct answer - well done.
      Talking about Saratoga Springs reminds me that I went there many years ago. We were staying in the Adirondacks, and learnt that there was to be a concert given by the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Centre conducted by Eugene Ormandy. On the spur of the moment we drove down and managed to get tickets and heard amongst other programme items Rachmaninov's: Rhapsody on a theme by Paganni. It was a very memorable night, sitting out in the open air on a warm balmy night.

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  8. Dearest Rosemary,
    Glad with this fabulous reveal of the real building, designed by architect James Cranston.
    Excellent design for that era around 1865 and it blends so nicely in the already beautiful landscape.
    We have plenty of mistletoe here as well!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - It is a lovely building in a very picturesque town. We enjoyed our time wandering around there very much.

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  9. Hello Rosemary. What a delightful building with an interesting history. Your lovely tour of the town has made me want to visit.

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    1. Hello Polly - it is a nice area to spend sometime, there are many interesting little towns and also lovely countryside.

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  10. What a delightful building and town.

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    1. I am pleased that it has been restored and preserved, it would be such a shame if it fell into disrepair.

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  11. That was a great quiz, Rosemary and it introduced us to a very interesting building.
    The different styles of architecture go together well. I love the arched brick entrance enhanced by pretty baskets of flowers. The interior is lovely as well. Thank you for your description of the history and for your great photographs.
    Well done to Jim!

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    1. Although the interior does not resemble exactly how it was, you can still get a great feel for how it did look in its heyday. Thanks Betty for your kind comment.

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  12. Well, I was baffled when I saw the details you showed us in your last post and I'm even more baffled now I've seen the whole thing! What a curious building.

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  13. Lovely place. Should have perhaps guessed that due to its elaborate design and general location but a lack of brain cells prevented a Sherlock type deduction.

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  14. Sadly not familiar with Tenbury Wells but thanks for the wonderful photos of what must be such an interesting town to visit.
    Thankfully they have preserved it all so well - Queen Victoria (and of course dear Albert) would be happy!!!

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  15. Congrats to Jim! I so enjoy all of your research...and especially your photos.

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