All’s Wells that ends Wells

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News -

IN the late 1840s, the grand­son of vice Ad­mi­ral Wells, Wil­liam Wells Iv, led the way in drain­ing Whit­tle­sey Mere – once Eng­land’s largest lake south of Win­der­mere.

He and a group of wealthy men re­alised that drain­ing the mere to turn the land to agri­cul­ture would be far more profitable.

Af­ter sev­eral failed at­tempts, they suc­ceeded by us­ing a huge pump, and by 1852 the Mere was dry, as the peat dried out and shrank.

To mea­sure the rate of shrink­age, Wil­liam Wells sunk an iron post into the ground – taken from london’s Crys­tal Palace – at Holme Fen.

At the time the top of the post was at ground level, but now just over 150 years later, it stands more than 1 ft above ground due to ero­sion and con­tin­ued drain­ing of the land.

The sur­round­ing land is the low­est point in Bri­tain.

To cel­e­brate his new found for­tune, Wil­liam built the pub and named it af­ter his grand­fa­ther The Ad­mi­ral Wells, mak­ing it the low­est pub in the Bri­tish Isles.

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