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The Spas
by Jean Ellis

My grandparents, Sydney and Lilian Broomfield with their friend Alfred Boycott, moved to Spa Farm, Shelfanger in the early 1900’s, establishing a successful poultry farm. A stream ran through the farm over which my grandfather put a bridge so we could access his meadow on the other side, this was converted into a bowling green with a beautiful garden on one side of it and bee hives in the far corner which provided honey for selling to villagers.

As children we had many hours of pleasure playing in the front garden with clock golf, and enjoying the very muddy farm yard which was fed by spring water running from the garden through a pipe. The water was used by us children as drinking water, we leaned over the pipe and drank straight from it enjoying the refreshing icy cold water. We were told that this water outlet that was know as The Spa, was very healthy to drink as it had iron in it and it certainly tasted irony. Some years later it was tested and found to be unfit to drink due to pollution from the surrounding fields.

Spa Farm was on the south side of Wash Lane with Spa House being on the north side. We were told some of the history of Spa House which had a spring with similar properties as The Spa in my grandparents’ farm, such as the iron and other healthy content. A wealthy businessman who was also a Doctor decided to establish a company which would sell the Spa Water in bottles and he invested a great deal of money to develop and promote the business.

I have a poster with the following heading:

It then goes into detail of analysis of the water and gives 22 testimonials from notable people and organisations including The Royal Hospital, Bath and the Hon. Sec. East Anglian Branch of the British Medical Association.

Apparently The Spa went out of business before the 1900's.

In the front garden of the house there was a statue of a small child pouring water from an urn into what I saw as a water butt. I was told this child had drowned in the water butt and the statue was a memorial to him, whether this is true or not I don't know but it fascinated me as a child.

In the Shelfanger booklet there is a very interesting story about Spa House.



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Page last updated: 27 Oct 2021
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