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Vange
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Vange Well No. 5


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Vange Well No.5 Vange Well No.5 Vange Well No.5
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Location: Vange Well No.5
Photographer: Thomas Barnes
Year of photo: 1990s
Copyright: Thomas Barnes
Source: Thomas Barnes
Comments: Taken later than the centre photo, there is a noticable difference in the outside render.
Location: Vange Well No.5
Photographer: Keith Kruud
Year of photo: 30/05/1996
Copyright: Keith Kruud
Source: Keith Kruud
Comments: 1996 side on view.
Location: Vange Well No.5
Photographer: Keith Kruud
Year of Photo: 30/05/1996
Copyright: Keith Kruud
Source: Keith Kruud
Comments: Vange lettering still intact.
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Vange Well No.5 Vange Well No.5 Vange Well No.5
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Location: Vange Well No.5
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 22/10/2002
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: The view of the well to the centre of the structure.
Location: Vange Well No.5
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 22/10/2002
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: Head on view of the front of the building.
Location: Vange Well No.5
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 22/10/2002
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: Almost hidden from view.
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The Domed building of the former mineral well is located close to the One Tree Hill country park on the outskirts of Martinhole Wood at Langdon Hills. Its structure, resembling that of a Grecian temple, was once out in the open, but is now amongst trees where its condition is deteriorating all the time.

It was built to enclose the last of five wells sunk on land to the rear of Hovells Farm on the Vange Hall Estate during the early 1920s, as a 'get rich quick scheme' by a London publican, whose surname was ironically Cash.

Self styled 'farmer' Edwin Cash - who owned the land - claimed discovery of the water in the early 1900s, and even had a large signboard erected close to the Five Bells with directions to the 'magic' well in the 'Vale of Health'.

The bottled contents, marketed by the Vange Water Company and labelled Farmer Cash's Famous Medicinal Vange Water, sold for 2s 3d (12p) and was available on site or from all Chemists and Stores of repute.

The water was highly sulphated and considered to be of great medicinal value in curing such ailments as rheumatoid complaints, lumbago, stomach troubles and nervous disorders.

Despite good advertising within a few short years the operation had peaked, and the once going concern folded around the mid 1920s. Reasons are still sketchy as to why the venture ceased. One theory put forward cites the former tuberculosis sanatorium, opened in 1927 and built on higher ground, as the possible cause of water contamination through its drainage system.

The domed building after years of neglect is now in very poor condition. Its structure is cracked in places, a cross beam has become detached, the render upon the exterior walls needs replacing and little remains of the original lettering.

There is still evidence of the other wells closeby, and hidden amongst the undergrowth is the concrete hard standing, where once stood a large wooden hut that was used for storage.

Although named 'Vange Well No.5', it actually stood in the parish of Fobbing, Thurrock

Page added: 2006
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Other points of interest:
Vange Water Company incorporated 1921, company number: 178163. Dissolved between 1924 and 1932.

Further Reading:

Essex Countryside Volume 8. No. 45 October 1960 - The Vale of Health by L.E. Fox.
P. 352/353. Short article with two black and white photographs.

Essex Spas and Mineral Waters by Ronald and Ann Cowell.
Includes a feature on the Vange Well No. 5. Full book details can be found here.

Text researched and written by William Cox, 2006 with revisions 2007.
Copyright © 2006-2007, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

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