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Harrogate History

Harrogate History Today, Harrogate is a vibrant and colourful town making much use of its green spaces to provide floral displays for its thousands of residents and visitors, so it’s hard to believe that Harrogate derives from Har-low-gata which literally means Grey-Hill-Road.

For hundreds of years Harrogate was just another Yorkshire town with little to distinguish it until William Slingsby discovered spring waters here. A dome marks the site of the Tewitt Well that Slingsby discovered and this can be found at the Stray.

This small well turned out to be Harrogate’s future pot of gold as word slowly spread and soon Harrogate became one of the first spa towns in Yorkshire.

Harrogate the spa town became famous for its sulphur and iron rich waters, and it’s popularity increased during the 18th century when a physician called Timothy Bight claimed the spa water at Harrogate had healing properties. It was claimed that the waters of Harrogate could cure almost anything including nervous tension and lumbago.

The Tewit Well on the Stray stands beside other wells including the seventeenth century St John’s Well. This well was named after a church, later replaced by Christ’s Church in Church Square. It was discovered by Dr Michael Stanhope. Other wells at Harrogate include a Magnesia Well which was discovered in 1895 and is located in Harrogate’s Valley gardens along with many other mineral wells.

Perhaps the most famous of Harrogate’s wells was a sulphur well known as the Stinking Spaw, which can now be found within The Royal Pump Room, now a museum.

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