WELL, well, well. Look what we have here!
A Bury family can now boast a unique garden feature — after a 200-year-old, 24 ft deep well was discovered in their back garden.
The shaft was stumbled on at the Victorian terraced home of Rob and Natasha Cross during excavation work in preparation for a kitchen extension.
The couple were left stunned when builders lifted two slabs and uncovered the pristinely preserved well beneath the garden of their house in Walmsley Street.
Natasha, aged 33, said: “The workmen were digging the foundations in the back yard because we’re getting a kitchen extension.
“About five feet down, they came across two square slabs. When we moved them, we discovered the well and immediately contacted the council.”
The shaft, measuring five feet in diameter, is brick-constructed and the final nine feet was filled with water.
“We think it’s more than 200 years old and it’s in surprisingly good condition,” Natasha added.
“When we realised what we were dealing with, we called the council in and we’re waiting for the archivist to visit.
“We believe the well was built and then covered over before the houses were constructed later on. Our house is 180 years old. We’d absolutely no idea whatsoever that it was there. Around 40 people have been to see it so far.”
However, the discovery has left the couple, who have two daughters, facing a poser.
Natasha said: “We didn’t know what to do after the well was found — whether or not to put the kitchen extension on hold, fill in the well, which would be such a massive shame, or to keep it partly exposed.
“But we’ve now decided we’ll be keeping the well and covering it in toughened glass that we will be able to walk on it.
“This has delayed the building of the kitchen extension, but it will be worth it to preserve such a unique feature.
“It will be partially covered with the extension, but the majority will remain. Hopefully, the building work can continue very soon.”