Category Archives: Water History

One of the finest examples of Welsh cyclopean quarry architecture in existence – Trefriew Bath House

Few who drive passed this Victorian building in Trefriw (Trefriew), North Wales, realise that hidden behind it, unknown and unshown, are two far earlier springs feeding an old bath house presently used as a reservoir to supply bottling taps.

Closed to the public in 2011. the nutrient-rich water is still used, being bottled and shipped worldwide by A Nelson & Co Limited under its brand, Spatone. As Nelsons is an independent family business with a long standing commitment to supplying high quality natural medicines, it’s fitting that it should own springs in Trefriw, a town name derived from two ancient Welsh words meaning ‘healing town’.

Trefriw Wells Spa - - 181387
Photo: Dot Potter / Trefriw Wells Spa

In a description of the old bath house at Trefriw, the domestic historian and author, Dorothy Hartley (b. 4 Oct. 1893 – d. 22nd Oct. 1985), said it’s “one of the finest examples of Welsh cyclopean quarry architecture in existence” with blocks of stone an average of 4 to 6 ft long and up to 4 ft square. The roof is spanned by four single slabs of solid stone and the twin doors of oak are iron bound. “A testimony to the strength and skill of the Welsh quarry men” who built it.

If any blog deserves the tag of #waterheritage it’s this one.

If caves are your interest, there’s some #waterheritage for sale (August 2021) that might fascinate you. It’s a woodland setting where the entrances to a couple of caves are hidden. Here the River Neath emerges after having carved seven or eight miles of cave network. In the words of the agents, “Included in the sale are access to some of the finest cave networks in the country.”

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The AED Taylor Slip Stirrer (1968)

The ‘Taylor Slip Stirrer’ is one of many inventions by our charity’s co-founder, Arthur E.D. Taylor.

In his engineering works in Birmingham, *Chaintabs Limited, many of the early fish net frames, tank supports, water siphoning and filtration systems, used on the World of Water’s first fish farm and visitor centre, were designed and manufactured.

World of Water collections include a selection of pottery made by Arthur Taylor and fired at Bournville Colledge of Art in Birmingham.

The Original AED Taylor Slip Stirrer 1968


*Chaintabs Ltd. continued for a while, after the death of Arthur,  under the directorship of Jim Paton and son. Chaintabs, ropetabs and cabletabs were used in World commercial shipping and the navy of many countries to mark lifting strain limits on chain, rope and cable. Record of the following advert can be found in the archive of Graces Guide, UK.