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OBSERVATIONS on the SULPHUR WELLS at HARROGATE, made in July and Auguft, 1725. By the Right Rev. RICHARD, Lord Billop of LANDAFF, F. R. S.
[From the LXXVI. Volume of the PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS.]
publifhed his treatife on Mineral Waters, there were only three fulphur wells at Harrogate; there are now four. I made fome enquiry refpecting the time and occafion of making the fourth well, and received the following account from an old man, who was himfelf principally concerned in the tranfaction. About forty years ago, a perfon, who, by leafe from the earl of Burlington, had acquired a right of fearching for minerals in the forest of Knaresborough, made a fhew as if he had a real intention of digging for coal, on the very fpot where the three fulphur wells were fituated. This attempt alarmed the apprehenfions of the innkeepers and others at Harrogate, who were interested in the prefervation of the wells: they gave him what legal oppofition they could, and all the illegal that they durft. At length, for the fum of one hundred pounds, which they raised among themfelves, the difpute was compromifed, and the defign, real or pretended, of digging for coal was abandoned. Sulphur water, however, had rifen up where he had begun to dig. They inclofed the place with a little ftone edifice, and putting down a bafon, made a fourth well. By a claufe in the act of Parliament for incloling Knarefborough foreit, paffed in 1770,
for perfon whatever, to fink any pit, or dig any quarry or mine, whereby the medicinal fprings or waters at Harrogate may be damaged or polluted; fo that no attempts of the kind above mentioned need be apprehended in future.
"This fourth well is that which is nearest to one of the barns of the Crown Inn, being about ten yards diftant from it. In digging a few years fince, the foundation of that barn, they met with fulphur water in feveral places. At a very little diftance from the four wells there are two others of the fame kind; one in the yard of the Halfmoon Inn, difcovered in digging for common water in 1783, and another which breaks out on the fide of the rivulet below that Inn. On the banks of that rivulet I faw feveral other fulphureous fprings : they are easily diftinguifhed by the blackness of the earth over which they flow.
"On the declivity of a hill, about a quarter of a mile to the weft of the fulphur wells at Harrogate, there is a bog which has been formed by the rotting of wood: the earth of the rotten wood is in fome places four feet in thickness, and there is a ftratum confifting of clay and fmall loose decaying fand-tones, every where under it. The hill above is of grit-ftone. In this bog
there are four more fulphur wells; one at the top near the rails which feparate the bog from the common; and three at the bottom, though one of thefe, ftrictly speaking, is not in the bog, but at the fide of it, in the ftratum on which the bog is fituated, and at the diftance of a yard or two from a rivulet of fresh water, which runs from thence to Low Harrogate, paffing close to the fide, but above the level of the fulphur wells of that place. On the other fide of the hill, above the bog, and to the weft of it, there is another fulphur well on the fide of a brook; and it has been thought that the wells both at Harrogate and the bog are fupplied from this well. In a low ground, between High Harrogate and Knaresborough, there is a fulphur well; another to the north of it in Bilton Park, at about the distance of a mile; and another to the fouth of it, at a lefs diftance, was discovered this year in digging for common water, by a perfon of the name of Richardfon; and last ly there is another at a place called Hookstone Crag; none of these last mentioned wells are above two miles diftant from High Harrogate; and by an accurate fearch a great many more might, probably, be discovered in the neighbourhood.
"It is not unufual to dig within a few yards of any of thefe fulphur wells, and to meet with water which is not fulphureous I ordered a well to be dug in the fore mentioned bog, fixteen yards to the fouth of the fulphur well which is near the rail, and to the fame depth with it; the water with which it was prefently filled was chalybeate, but in no degree fulphureoug. I had another well dug, at about thirty yards diftance from the three fulphur wells which are fituated at the lower extremity of the
bog; this well, by the declivity of the ground, was ten or twelve feet below their level, but its water was not fulphureous. From the first well which I dug, it is evident, that every part of the bog does not yield fulphur water; and from the fecond, which was funk in the clay, it is clear that every part of the ftratum on which the bog is placed does not yield it, though one of the wells is fituated in it.
"The fulphur wells at Harrogate are a great many feet below the level of thofe in the bog; but they communicate with them, if we may rely on what Dr. Short has told us." That about the beginning of this century, when the concourse of people was very great to the fpaw at Harrogate, one Robert Ward, an old man, made a bafon in the clay under the moss of a bog where the ftrongest and brifkeft of thefe fulphur fprings rife, and gathered half an hogfhead of water at a time for the ufe of the poor; but when he laded this, he almost dried the three fulphur wells at the village, whence it is evident, that all have the fame origin and communicate with one another." By converfing with fome of the oldest and most intelligent people at Harrogate, I could not find that they entertained any opinion of the water at the bog having a communication with that at the fpaw. This circumftance might easily be afcertained; and if the fact fhould be contrary to what Doctor Short fuppofed, the wells at the bog ought to be covered from the weather as thofe at the village are; they would by this mean yield great plenty of water for the baths, which are wanted by invalids, and hich are often very fcantily fupplied by the wells at Harrogate, notwithstanding the attention which is ufed in pre
ferving the water which fprings at
pofe the lower hills near the wells at Harrogate, dip very much, as may be feen in a ftone quarry about two hundred yards from the wells; and the fame circumstance may be obferved in dry weather, in following the bottom of the brook from the village up to the bog; and hence, if there be a communication between the waters of the bog and of the village, as Dr. Short afferts, it is probable, that the fame ftratum of hale which is feen at the bottom of the wells at the village, breaks out again at the bog above the village, and that the water finds its way from the bog to the village through the crevices of that stratum.
"After having obferved as carefully as I could, the number and fituation of the fulphur wells about Harrogate, I took notice of the temperature of the four at the village. In the month of June, 1780, when the thermometer in the made was 72°, and the pump water at the Granby Inn, the well of which is fifty feet deep, was 48°, the strongest of the fulphur wells, being that of which invalids ufually drink, was 50°. On the 29th of July, in this year, after the earth had been parched with drought for many months, the heat of the ftonget well was 54; the water of the Granby pump was on the fame day 489, and the heat of the air in the fhade 76°. Doctor Walker, who has lately written a treatife on Harrogate water, fays that the heat of this fpring was 48, when that of an adjoining rivulet was 53°. And I have little doubt in believing, that if the experiment was made in cold weather, the temperature of the fame well would be found to be feveral degrees below 48°. This variation of temperature in the fulphur water indicates it? fpringing
fpringing from no great depth below the furface of the earth; or at leaft it indicates its having run for a confiderable diflance in a channel fo near to the furface of the earth, as to participate of the changes of temperature, to which that is liable from the action of the fun. But the heat of the fulphur water is not only variable in the fame well, at different times, but it is not the fame in all the wells at the fame time. If we call the ftrongest well the first, and reckon the rest in order, going to the right, the third well, which is reckoned the next strongest, was 57° hot when the frit was only 54°. In fupport of the conjecture, that the fulphur water of the strongest would in a cold feafon make the thermometer fink below 48, which is the conftant temperature of fprings fituated at a great depth in the earth in this country, it may be obferved, that though the first and the third well are never frozen, yet the fecond and the fourth well are frozen in fevere weather. When the fecond and the fourth well are covered with ice, it is probable, that the first and the third have a temperature far below 48; but that the fea falt, which is more abundant in them than in the other two wells, and which of all falts refifts moit powerfully the congelation of the water in which it is diffolved, preferves them from being frozen in the coldest feafons incident to our
"As the temperature of thefe four wells is not the fame in all of them at the fame time, nor invariable in any of them, fo neither does there feem to be any uniformity or conftancy in them, with refpect to the quantity of falt which they contain. The falt with which they are all impregnated is of the fame kind in all, and it is almoft
wholly common falt; and though the quantity contained in a definite portion of any one of the wells is not, I think, precifely the fame at all feafons of the year, yet the limits within which it varies are not, I apprehend, very great. A method is mentioned in the LXth vlume of the Philofophical Tranfac tions of eftimating the quantity of common falt diffolved in water, by taking the specific gravity of the water: this method is not to be relied on, when any confiderable portion of any other kind of falt is diffolved along with the fea falt; but it is accurate enough to give a good notion of the quantity contained in the different wells at Harrogate. On the 13th of August, after feveral days of rainy weather, I took the fpecific grav ties of the four fulphur wells at the village, the drinking well being the firs. Rain water 1.000; first well 1.009; fecond well 1.002; thirdwell 1.007; fourth well 1.002. By comparing thefe fpecific gravities with the table which is given in the LXth volume of Tranfactions, it may be gathered that the water of the first well contained of its weight of common falt; that of the fecond and fourth; and that of the third. After four days more heavy rain I tried the strongest well again, and found its fpecific gravi ty to be 1.0c8. It is worthy of obfervation, that the water, as it fprings into the first and third well, is quite tranfparent, but ufually of a pearl colour in the fecond and fourth, fimilar in appearance to the water of the firft or third well after it has been expofed a few hours to the air; hence it is probable, that the external air has accefs to the water of the fecond and fourth well before it fprings up into the bafon. A great many authors have published accounts of the quantity
ference of a circle of feven or eight yards in diameter; yet from what has been faid it is evident that they have not all either the fame temperature, or the fame quantity of faline impregnation. This diverfity of quality, in wells which have a proximity of fituation, is no uncommon phenomenon; and though at the first view it feems to be furprifing, yet it cafes to be fo on reflexion; for the waters which feed wells fo circumstanced, may flow through ftrata of different qualities, fituated at different depths, though in the fame direction; or through ftrata placed both at different depths, and in different directions; and that this is the cafe at Harrogate is probable enough, there being hills on every fide of the hollow in which the village is placed.
"With respect to the fulphure. ous impregnation of thefe waters, I made the following obfervations.
of common falt contained in a gallon of the water of the ftrongest well; they differ fomewhat from each other, fome making it more, others lefs than two ounces Thefe diverfities proceed either from the different care and fill ufed in conducting the experiment; or from a real difference in the quantity of falt with which the water is impregnated at different feafons of the year. The medium quantity of falt contained in a gallon falls fhort of, I think, rather than exceeds two ounces. The fea water at Scarborough contains about twice as much falt as is found in the ftrongest fulphur well at Harrogate. The fulphur wells at the bog are commonly faid to be fulphureous, but not faline. This, however, is a mistake; they contain falt, and falt of the fame kind as the wells at the village. I could not diftinguifh the kind of falt by the method in which I had eftimated the quantity "The infide of the bafon, into contained in the fulphur wells; I which the water of the ftrongest therefore evaporated a gallon of the well rifes, is covered with a whitish water of the well in the bog which pellicle, which may be cafily fcrapis near the rails, and obtained a fulled off from the grit-ftone of which ounce of common falt, of a brownifh colour: the colour would have gone off by calcination. In what degree the medicinal powers of Harrogate water depends on its fulphureous, and in what degree on its faline impregnation. are queftions which I meddle not with: I would only juft obferve on this head, that any strong fulphureous water, fuch as that of Keddlestone in Derbyshire, or of Shep in Weft moreland, which naturally contains little or no fea falt, may be rendered fimilar to Harrogate water, by diffolving in it a proper proportion of common falt. The four fulphur wells at Harrogate are very near to each other; they might all be included within the circum
the bafon is made. I obferved, in the year 1780, that this pellicle on a hot iron burned with the flame and finell of fulphur. I this year repeated the experiment with the fame fuccefs; the fubftance should be gently dried before it is put on the iron. I would farther observe, that the fulphur is but a small part of the fubftance which is fcraped off. That I might be certain of the poffibility of obtaining true palpable fulphur from what is fcraped off from the bafon, and at the fame time give fome guefs at the quantity of fulphur contained in it, I took three or four ounces of it, and having wafhed it well, and dried it thoroughly by a gentle heat, I put two ounces into a clean glafs retort,