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Shocked family discover 22ft deep well under their home while extending kitchen

The deep well with 'crystal clear water' was found under a home in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, during a kitchen extension project.

The top of the well. Photo released March 12 2024. See SWNS story SWLSwell. A family were left stunned after finding a ‘mystery’ 22ft well beneath their home during building work to extend their kitchen. Mum Louise Watson, 45, said workmen unearthed the water reservoir below an old lean-to structure, which was attached to their 130-year-old three-bed terrace.The top of the brick-lined well, which was covered by a heavy slate slab, was discovered two feet (60cm) beneath the ground's surface.When the family opened a huge pit, they sent a camera down to inspect it and found it contained 6ft (1.8m) of
The top of the brick well under a house in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbira. (SWNS)

A family were left in shock after they discovered a 22ft deep well under their home while carrying out an extension to their kitchen.

Louise Watson said workmen found the 3ft wide well under an old lean-to shelter attached to their 130-year-old terraced house.

The brick well, which was covered with a heavy slate slab, was found 2ft beneath the surface of the ground at the home in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, last August.

After opening the well and sending a camera down inside, the family found it contained 6ft of "crystal clear" water.

(Left to right) David Watson, Jack Watson, and Louise Watson.Photo released March 12 2024. See SWNS story SWLSwell. A family were left stunned after finding a ‘mystery’ 22ft well beneath their home during building work to extend their kitchen. Mum Louise Watson, 45, said workmen unearthed the water reservoir below an old lean-to structure, which was attached to their 130-year-old three-bed terrace.The top of the brick-lined well, which was covered by a heavy slate slab, was discovered two feet (60cm) beneath the ground's surface.When the family opened a huge pit, they sent a camera down to inspect it and found it contained 6ft (1.8m) of
David Watson, left and Louise Watson, right, and their son, Jack Watson, centre, discovered a well under their property. (SWNS)
The well. Photo released March 12 2024. See SWNS story SWLSwell. A family were left stunned after finding a ‘mystery’ 22ft well beneath their home during building work to extend their kitchen. Mum Louise Watson, 45, said workmen unearthed the water reservoir below an old lean-to structure, which was attached to their 130-year-old three-bed terrace.The top of the brick-lined well, which was covered by a heavy slate slab, was discovered two feet (60cm) beneath the ground's surface.When the family opened a huge pit, they sent a camera down to inspect it and found it contained 6ft (1.8m) of
A family found a well under their home in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria. (SWNS)

Instead of covering the well up again, Watson, 45, has turned it into a glass-topped feature for her new kitchen.

"It's absolutely beautiful inside," she said. "We were shocked as we thought it would be all grimy inside but it's perfectly preserved.

"There's around 6ft of crystal clear water at the bottom – we did wonder if there may be treasure or a body down there.

“Some people have said they'd be quite unnerved to have a well under their home, with some saying, 'Oh don't ever watch The Ring.'

"I'm lucky, I don't really watch films that often, especially horror films so it doesn't bother me.

“We've made a lovely feature out of it now. We've added three lights at the top and got specially made durable glass so you can walk on top of it.”

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Louise, who works for BAE Systems, and her husband David, 46, began extension work at the back of their three-bedroom cottage last year.

Previously built for iron ore miners, it had been occupied by her parents-in-law before the couple moved in with their 11-year-old son, Jack, 10 years ago.

The builders discovered the well while digging the foundations for the new part of the property.

"We have lived in the house for 10 years," said Watson. "My husband lived here as a child with his family – they were here for around 25 to 30 years – none of us had a clue it was here.

Building work around the well in the back of the garden. Photo released March 12 2024. See SWNS story SWLSwell. A family were left stunned after finding a ‘mystery’ 22ft well beneath their home during building work to extend their kitchen. Mum Louise Watson, 45, said workmen unearthed the water reservoir below an old lean-to structure, which was attached to their 130-year-old three-bed terrace.The top of the brick-lined well, which was covered by a heavy slate slab, was discovered two feet (60cm) beneath the ground's surface.When the family opened a huge pit, they sent a camera down to inspect it and found it contained 6ft (1.8m) of
Building work being carried out around the well in the back of the garden. (SWNS)
The finished kitchen - with the glass top on the well. Photo released March 12 2024. See SWNS story SWLSwell. A family were left stunned after finding a ‘mystery’ 22ft well beneath their home during building work to extend their kitchen. Mum Louise Watson, 45, said workmen unearthed the water reservoir below an old lean-to structure, which was attached to their 130-year-old three-bed terrace.The top of the brick-lined well, which was covered by a heavy slate slab, was discovered two feet (60cm) beneath the ground's surface.When the family opened a huge pit, they sent a camera down to inspect it and found it contained 6ft (1.8m) of
The well has been covered with a glass top and is now a feature of the extended kitchen. (SWNS)
The well at the back of the garden. Photo released March 12 2024. See SWNS story SWLSwell. A family were left stunned after finding a ‘mystery’ 22ft well beneath their home during building work to extend their kitchen. Mum Louise Watson, 45, said workmen unearthed the water reservoir below an old lean-to structure, which was attached to their 130-year-old three-bed terrace.The top of the brick-lined well, which was covered by a heavy slate slab, was discovered two feet (60cm) beneath the ground's surface.When the family opened a huge pit, they sent a camera down to inspect it and found it contained 6ft (1.8m) of
The well was discovered in an old shelter while extending the kitchen. (SWNS)

"There's no stream nearby running into it – the water trickles down the walls and it just feeds off the natural water table.

"I ordered testing kits off Amazon to test the alkaline of the water and it's not far off tap water – we were amazed."

She said they looked into sourcing their own water from the well but were put off by the £5,000 start-up cost.

She believes the well may have been used by farmers hundreds of years ago.

Is it legal to have a well in the UK?

Most UK homes take their water from reservoirs, lakes and rivers, but a well uses the groundwater found in the soil, sand and rock below us.

Groundwater can be less contaminated than water stored above as it is protected by a thick layer of rock.

To drill a borehole to extract water in England and Wales, you will need formal consent from the Environment Agency.

You don't need planning permission to dig a well on your property, but if you you are planning on extracting more than 20 cubic metres of water a day you will need a licence.

According to Checkatrade, the total cost of drilling a 60ft well ranges from £10,000 to £18,000, but once installed it could save you up to 80% in annual water costs.

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