The Children's Well
The Taylor Well, also known as the Children’s Well, was donated to the town in 1886 by Joseph William Taylor (1837 – 1923) a Buxton solicitor who could be considered one of the founding fathers of Victorian Buxton. The purpose of the Well, really a drinking fountain, was to provide fresh water to visitors approaching Buxton from Ashwood Dale and Fairfield Road.
The pink granite well is to a design supplied by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association and originally stood at the eastern end of Spring Gardens on a small triangle of land at its junction with Bridge Street. It came by its name ‘the Children’s Well’ because of a tradition of schoolchildren decorating the well during the Well Dressing Festival the first recorded instance of this being in 1959. Sometime during the 1960’s the urn on the fountain was vandalised but never repaired or replaced.
In 1986 the fountain was removed during the construction of the Station Road bypass and the pedestrianisation of Spring Gardens and for many years it languished in the Council Yard in the Serpentine. Its rediscovery and re-instatement was due the Buxton Group. One of the Group’s members was Janet (Jessie) Taylor, the adopted daughter of JW Taylor who was very keen to know what had happened to the fountain..
With the co-operation of High Peak Borough Council the fountain was rescued, a new urn sourced and the fountain was re-installed in its present position in 2001. At first water did flow to the fountain but this led to disfiguring salt deposits and blockages. The deposits were cleaned off by members of the Buxton Group but at the present time (2022) the water is no longer flowing.
What it is used for now?
Sadly, at present the Well is purely ornamental but it is dressed by scholars of the Buxton Community School annually for the Well Dressing Festival.
Did you know?
JW Taylor is probably best remembered in the town as the founder of Trinity Episcopal chapel (now Trinity Church) on Hardwick Mount.