Thursday, 8 July 2010

White Wells Spa

White Wells is situated half way up Ilkley Moor, above the little town of Ilkley. The story goes that in the 1700s a local shepherd badly hurt his leg, which refused to heal. He found that it began to do so after he bathed it daily in Ilkley's spring waters. Word spread, and soon other visitors came to bathe in the (cold) healing waters. Between 1840 and 1870, hydrotherapy clinics were built in the area and, taking advantage of the new railway, wealthy Victorians flocked to the town to 'take the waters', cementing Ilkley's reputation as a place of genteel elegance. Charles Darwin was famously a visitor, at the time that his book "Origin of the Species" was being published.

White Wells was originally a two roomed cottage but was developed as a small spa. You can still see the spa bath - which nowadays seems to be used as a wishing well! It is owned by the Council, let to tenants and run as a tea room but these days it seems a bit neglected. It is a shame, as it's a lovely walk up to the viewpoint and a very pleasant place to sit with a drink. You would think that with an injection of cash to spruce it up and some entrepreneurial flair, it could be quite an attraction.

8 comments:

  1. Interesting post and an interesting location (especially as I have just got my second randomly generated square and on a clear day you might be able to see the cottage from it!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe someone will step up to the challenge and turn this place into a real showcase!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe when these tough economic times are past, someone will seize the opportunity...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, what a great spot! It's sad when landmarks like this are let to languish. Hopefully someday, someone will fix it up to it's former glory. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  5. It *is* disappointing when potentially brilliant places are allowed to become shabby or run down. I can think of few things better than a decent cup of fresh (Fairtrade) coffee with a good view, especially as the reward after a bit of a climb.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with you especially with all that history attached.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How interesting. Kind of like a mini Bath?

    ReplyDelete

No WV here but I've enabled comment moderation on older posts so I don't miss any of your messages. I love reading them - thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog.