Flooding of Hermitage

TWO thousand gallons of water per hour on average are flowing into the well chamber of Pontefract’s Hermitage.

There is documented evidence that there is a fast flowing river that runs under the Town End and Valley Garden areas of Pontefract, possibly fed from the Pennines. This water supply could be the reason why we have so many ‘springs’ in and around Pontefract.

When my late father-in-law moved his greenhouse down on to Chequerfield we had a problem with spring water constantly flooding it.

The town was supplied by spring water, hence the pump at the Buttercross. The castle and St John’s Priory also had a good supply of fresh, sweet spring water, according to documented evidence.

So, for more than 500 years we had a plentiful stable spring water system in and around Pontefract.

Then came Balfour Beatty to build the new clinic, oops sorry I mean the new “hospital.”

It worked on the land in the vicinity of the Hermitage and there were water problems from the start. Then we had water problems down the Hermitage.

It is only my opinion that excavation work has now interfered with the natural flow of a spring water ducting that is causing the Hermitage flooding now and in the future.

St Richard’s Friary was built on the natural slope of the Valley Gardens area, did the friars know of the risk that building in the valley bottom would give them flooding problems? I suspect so.

Perhaps Balfour Beatty should have checked with Pontefract District Archeological Society, Pontefract History Society or many other people who know of natural springs around Pontefract.

B ROLLIN

Rossiter Drive

Knottingley