Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Dinsdale Spa (NZ342121)

On the north bank of the River Tees a few hundred yards to the south-west of Middleton St.George is the spot of the original Dinsdale Spa – not the building/hotel of the name later built on the site, but the spa itself. It was originally discovered, well, let’s hear it directly from the best source I was able to find on the subject… 

The Sulphur Well was accidentally discovered in 1789 by labourers employed by the late Mr. Lambton in searching for coal. The men had bored to the depth of seventy-two feet, chiefly through red rock and whinstone, when the spring burst forth with a tremendous smoke and sulphureous stench. The remarkable qualities of the water attracted the attention of the labourers, who dug a hole in the channel of the spring for the purpose of bathing, and one of them, who had long been afflicted with chronic rheumatism, was perfectly cured by the bath and drinking the water. Though under no medical rule or regulation, the extraordinary effects of the water, particularly in chronic rheumatism and cutaneous disorders, added daily to its celebrity. A cold bath was built in 1797, and a warm bath has since been added. The Dinsdale Spa has gradually become a place of great resort, and the little village of Middleton, a quarter of a mile below the Bath, has been sometimes crowded with visitors. From experiments, a wine-quart of the water contains carbonate of lime 2 grains, sulphate of lime 25 grains, carbonic acid gas 2 cubic inches, azotic gas 1.50, sulphurated hydrogen gas, which contains 2½ grains of sulphur, 8.32. The large quantity of hepatic air is most remarkable, and probably exceeds the proportion in any medicated water of which the analysis is before the public. The separation of sulphur is so copious, that large quantities may be collected out of the channel of the spring. The water is clear and sparkling at the well-head, but gradually becomes opaque as the sulphur separates from the gas. Like most hepatic waters, it leaves a slight sweetness on the palate. The stream, which issues through a very small bore, flows twelve gallons in a minute; neither weather nor season make any observable alteration in quality or quantity. On applying the bulb of the thermometer to the stream as it breaks into day, the quicksilver stands at 52, eight degrees above the temperature of the neighbouring springs.

About two miles up the river are the remains of an old Bath; the water is slightly hepatic and saline.

[from: 'Parish of Dinsdale', The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: volume 3: Stockton and Darlington wards (1823), pp. 230-242. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=76355 . Date accessed: 3rd April 2012]

In time, Dinsdale Spa fell from favour. It’s potential, however, stretched deep into the 19th century, with the construction of Dinsdale Station to accommodate the anticipated passenger traffic from the new-fangled railway system.

Nice images here and here.

Would you like to write for the the North-East History Tour?
See here for further info.

No comments:

Post a Comment