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The Hot Wells

The Hot Wells

Artist and engraver: Sanders, J.

Medium: Aquatint

Date: 1793

Shelfmark: Ktop XXXVII

Item number: 30-a-6

Length: 25

Width: 18

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Print

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Daniel Defoe visited Bristol in the early 18th century and described the recent discovery of a hot spring at St Vincent's Rocks: 'it is but a few years since this spring lay open at the foot of the rock." The rock had since then been colonised by using gunpowder to carve out firm foundations for a large house "for entertaining diseased persons". The hot spring was secured with a pump to provide easy access. Defoe explained that "the water of this well possess'd its medicinal quality no doubt from the original" but also that he found it strange that "it is now famous for being a specifick in that otherwise incurable disease diabetes; and yet was never known to be so, 'till within these few years; namely thirty years or thereabout". This is one of six views of the local area made for Caleb Hillier Parry (1755-1822) a noted Bath physician, agriculturalist and geologist.

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