St Chad's Well
A rare Crimean War memorial
and testament to a mother's
love for her son
surrounding garden and cenotaph was added as a personal memorial by Mrs
Savage of Norton House, after the Crimean War.
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
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.
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.