The Domed building of the former mineral well is located close to 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 almost lost from view amongst dense woodland where its condition is deteriorating all the time.
built to enclose the last of five wells sunk on land to the rear of Hovells Farm on the north-west extremities of 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 public house with directions to the 'magic' well in the 'Vale of Health'. At the time of the discovery he was
working in London as the licencee of The Angel public house in Islington. He retired in 1919 to further develop the venture.
The building has a concrete floor, brick built outer walls with window openings, two wall separated openings; one having
two rounded pillars, and an octagonal brick walled centre section with a red tiled floor. The well is to the centre of the building
on a concrete base enclosed with what appears to be a single circular course of bricks. The whole of the exterior walls are
rendered as are some areas of the inner structure. There are the remains of some lettering to the upper front that once read:
Vange Well No. 5.
The bottled contents, marketed
by the Vange Water Company Limited and labelled Farmer Cash's Famous Medicinal Vange Water, sold for 2s 3d (12p) (equivalent value in 2017 is £3.27) 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
|DO YOU SUFFER FROM|
RHEUMATISM, LUMBAGO, &c.?
FAMOUS MEDICINAL VANGE WATER
The discovery of which recently
caused such a sensation
throughout the whole of the worlds' Press, with the story
of its wonderful cures. Farmer
Cash's Vange Water has
been found to give wonderful results of alleviation of all
rheumatoid complaints, stomach
troubles, nervous disorders
and many other ills that flesh heir to. Cash Vange Water
is an entirely natural water,
highly sulphated, and is bottled
exactly as taken from the well. It is nature's own remedy.
A bottle of CASH'S VANGE
WATER costs 2/3, and is sold by
all Chemists and Stores of repute. As unfortunately one or
have been thrust upon the market, it is
necessary, to ensure obtaining the genuine Cash's Vange
Water, to see that
Photo and Signature
is on every label,
otherwise it is not the genuine Cash Vange Water
largely advertised. Visitors are at all times welcomed at
the Wells. If by chance you cannot obtain Cash's Vange
Water at your Chemists', write to-
FARMER CASH, Vange Well, Vange Corner
Estate, LONDON ROAD, FOBBING,
Nearest Railway Station: Pitsea, L. M & S. Rly.
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 possible theory put forward cites the former West Ham tuberculosis sanatorium, opened in
1927 and built on higher ground, as the possible cause of water contamination through its septic tank drainage
system. Whether there was any truth in that has been hard to prove as the sanatorium closed in 1957 and no records are known
to exist linking it with the Vange mineral well. Also, if as thought, the venture had ceased to exist by the mid 1920s this would predate
the sanatorium's existence.
One thing that can be confirmed is that by early 1924 the company was in a state of deep
financial trouble. There are two notices recorded in the London Gazette(*) newspaper from February 1924. The first states that on the 22nd January 1924 an Extraordinary General Meeting with members of the Vange Water Company Limited was
held. The meeting, which was chaired by Sidney A. Moseley, took place at 2, Foster Lane, Cheapside, London, EC2 where they
passed an Extraordinary Resolution stating: "That the Company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business, and
that it is advisable to wind up the same; and that Thomas John McManis. of 2, Foster Lane, Cheapside, EC2, be appointed
Liquidator of the Company." In the same edition another entry posted by T.J. McManis, Liquidator, gave notice that a meeting
of the creditors of the company would be held at 12 o'clock noon on 11th February at the same Cheapside address. The following year
on 29th January T.J. McManis, acting as Liquidator, gave notice of a meeting of the company members to be held at 10 o'clock am
on 6th March at Cheapside, London. This meeting, "for the purpose of having an account laid before them, showing the
manner in which the winding-up has been conducted and the property of the Company disposed of, and of hearing any
explanation that may be given by the Liquidator; and also, by Extraordinary Resolution, determining the manner in which the
books, accounts and other documents of the Company, and of the Liquidator thereof, shall be
disposed of" would seem to confirm that the company had probably ceased trading in 1924 or even late 1923.
Nothing further from the company was reported and the land was later sold. Edwin Cash is believed to have died in 1931.
The domed building after many years of neglect and vandalism is now in a ruinous condition. Its structure is cracked in many places, the
octagonal domed metal framed roof is rusting badly, a cross beam has become detached, the render upon the exterior walls and
two pillars needs replacing and little remains of the original lettering.
Close by and within sight of Well No. 5 there is still evidence
of the other wells - one being near to a seasonally dried up ditch - and hidden amongst the undergrowth is the concrete hard standing,
where once stood a large wooden hut that was used as a pump house, storage and on site sales.
Although named 'Vange Well No.5', Vange Corner Estate,
it actually stood in the parish of Fobbing, Thurrock.
Sadly there are very few photographs of the well to survive. One interesting
one can be seen in Jessie Payne's book Basildon A Pictorial History, published by Phillimore in 1981. It shows a postcard
view of the pump house, said by the author to date from 1924. Five people can be seen, one of which is said to be Edwin
Cash, who is wearing a long white coat. The large wooden pump house building has a pitched roof and six front facing windows
and looks to be of a very substantial build quality. Two open top cars from the period are in the foreground on a track, which
clearly means the well was accessible to road transport despite being on an unrecognised road and some distance from the
main A13 London to Southend road. Thick woodland can be seen directly behind the building.
For anyone wishing to visit the former mineral well its best to set off from the car park at One Tree Hill Country Park's visitor
centre. After crossing the main road there are paths through the woodland, which might require wellington boots or other
suitable footwear to be worn during the winter months. The route is not signposted and should take around 10 minutes.