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Midsomer Norton Society

Researching and appreciating our history

Influencing the present and future development of our town

Midsomer Norton Society

Researching and appreciating our history

Influencing the present and future development of our town

Contact us

History Tour

Diary & Events

Home Page

Midsomer Norton Society

Researching and appreciating our history

Influencing the present and future development of our town

St Chad's Well

A rare Crimean War memorial

and testament to a mother's love for her son

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The surrounding garden and cenotaph was added as a personal memorial by Mrs Savage of Norton House, after the Crimean War.

 

 

The decision to place the monument to her son in proximity of the spring, which had long been used by the people of Midsomer Norton, resulted from her son's letters home from the Crimean War. In these letters her son highlighted the problems the soldiers had in gaining access to clean water. It is a sad fact that more British soldiers died in the Crimea of waterborne diseases than were killed by the enemy.

 

Although her son Major Frederick Stukely Savage did return from the war, he was an invalid and died 10 years later when he was still comparatively young. Evelyn Waugh, who's grandfather was the doctor in the town tells how, the distraught Mrs Savage visited the memorial daily. "Here, in the evenings, the pathetic, wizened Mrs Savage was conducted in her wheel chair, attended by her faithful henchman, Jonah Shearn. The path to the well was set with shrubs, and if any weed had grown between their stems, the wheel chair was stopped before the offending vegetable, and Jonah, trowel in hand, dug it up and cast it in the stream that babbled by. Then she paused and read the inscription with a far-away look in her eyes. It was her tribute to an only child".

 

After her death, it seems to have become neglected and the Council made approaches to Mrs Savage's Trustees to carry out repairs and maintenance. There seems to have been various issues concerning the ownership of the well and gardens through the 1920s and 1930s. Today the site is owned by Somervale School. Sadly it remains neglected and has been vandalised.

 

The original grotto archway of Chilcompton Rough stone, similar to the one that stood in the Hollies gardens and the three William Evans' bollards,  has disappeared. However, the elaborate enclosure railings and gate, installed by the Fry family of blacksmiths have survived.

 

With the soon-to-be-launched Somervale Community Radio Station, it is the hope of the Midsomer Norton Society to raise funds to restore this monument to a mother's love - for future generations to appreciate.

 

Our Projects

River Somer Project

Streetscape Plan

Midsomer Norton Knight

Video Memories

St Chad's Well

Jubilee Lamp & Fountain

Vicarage Tunnel

Midsomer Norton Fair Day