DEEPEST WATER WELL IN THE WORLD
THE WOODINGDEAN WATER WELL
THE DEEPEST WATER WELL IN THE WORLD
A well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving or drilling to access liquid resources, usually water. The oldest and most common kind of well is a water well, to access ground water in underground aquifer.
The Woodingdean Water Well is the deepest hand-dug well in the world, at 390 metres (1285 feet) deep. Work on the well started in 1858, and was finished four years later, on March 16, 1862. It is located just outside of Nuffield Hospital in Woodingdean , near Brighton, UK.
The well was originally dug to provide water for a workhouse at the top of Elm Grove and a school for juveniles at Warren Farm. The workhouse was a place people would go if they were poor, couldn’t find work or unfortunately, if children became orphans, they often landed up in the workhouse. In exchange for their food and bed they were expected to work. The well is 390m (1285m) deep and is little more than a meter wide. In true Dickensian style, the well was hand dug by members of the local workhouse and was apparently carried out for 24 hours with candlelight as the only source of light. They had to scale up and down the shaft in complete darkness on a series of rickety ladders. Surprisingly, only one of the worker died in the process.
Excavation work at the well continued for several more years, until one day at a change of shifts, something unusual was noticed. One of the workers realized that the earth he was standing on, at the bottom of the shaft, was beginning to heave upwards like a massive piston. All the workers scrambled upward as fast as they could go, to the Winchman’s platforms to get out of the way of the water that finally struck. The water rose to 400 feet in the first hour, with the men nearly escaping death.