Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

for matters relating to dowsing for water supplies including wells, boreholes, heat pumps and other services.

Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby Geoff Stuttaford » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:40 pm

It is a well know requirement that, in order to set up and maintain a settlement of any kind, a water supply is necessary. If we go back several thousand years, were all settlments located next to rivers or other sources of drinking water or were wells dug ? If the latter, who found where to dig ? Dowsers ?
Geoff

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel (Polonius)
User avatar
Geoff Stuttaford
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby arthur hamlin » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:19 pm

Geoff,
If its of any help my dowsing says that wells did not exist thousands of years ago in Britain but did do in other parts of the world. A reliance was put on good water courses fairly close to settlements.
Arthur
arthur hamlin
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:37 pm

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby Geoff Stuttaford » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:11 pm

I don't think that's quite correct, Arthur. Depends on how far back you want to go. There are several Iron Age forts on top of the escarpment at the western end of the Cotswolds between the M4 and Cheltenham, where Bristol Dowsers have found the location of wells that were dug inside the outer limits of the settlements. There are no surface rivers or even streams at these locations.

At one location (Little Sodbury - adjacent to the A46) there was an Iron Age fort that was later surplanted by a Roman lookout post, and several of us managed to dowse the location of a well dug in the 6th century BCE. The local farmer had asked us to find a well near his farmhouse. We found a good location at a depth of about 100 feet but then we had to advise him that the water below was contaminated with a chemical he had sprayed on his crops.
Geoff

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel (Polonius)
User avatar
Geoff Stuttaford
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby arthur hamlin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:04 pm

AHHHHH! but there are wells and there are wells!.
I expect some of the really early ones had no linings of brick or stone but merely a hollowed out area that possibly livestock could reach when thirsty.
Evidence could be gained if an excavation was possible, but knowing how things are these days with so much red tape unless it was on private land of course.
Anyway just wondering whats this to do with Dowsers in Antiquity or have we moved over again slightly?
Arthur
arthur hamlin
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:37 pm

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby Geoff Stuttaford » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:08 pm

(Arthur) Anyway just wondering whats this to do with Dowsers in Antiquity or have we moved over again slightly?"

Depends whether you regard the Iron Age as Antiquity or not.
Geoff

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel (Polonius)
User avatar
Geoff Stuttaford
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby griff » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:03 pm

I remember we drilled a borehole about 100yards away from the site of a Roman Fort near Modbury in South Devon. In the centre of the fort a Roman Well was recorded on the Map. A colleague dowsed this as being 1 wide course 50ft deep, 8ft in diameter with a RWL some 45ft BGL. A big job for hand digging. I wondered if they found the water before developing the fort or vice-versa? The borehole is at a lower level and we drilled 3 courses to 160ft, 5.5" diameter, a good supply with a 24 hr Recovery WL 20ft BGL.
Last edited by griff on Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
griff
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: South Pool Kingsbridge Devon UK

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby Geoff Stuttaford » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:08 pm

Hi Griff

I would suggest that the well was found first and the fort built around it. If the well was outside the fort its inhabitants would not have access to it if the fort was under siege.
Geoff

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel (Polonius)
User avatar
Geoff Stuttaford
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby arthur hamlin » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:21 pm

Not only that but water would be needed for making the mortar for building walls etc.
Same reason for the many thousands of farm houses built at a later date.
Arthur
arthur hamlin
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:37 pm

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby griff » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:56 pm

Hi Arthur
The old map circa 1830 says 'Roman Antiquity' and shows a 'tower' at approximately the site of the well. Later and current maps say 'Iron Age Fort'. In 1938 and undated earlier digs, some Samian ware was unearthed, giving the impression that the Romans had occupied the fort and dug the well. Grid Ref: SX 6340 4936 (Oldaport) approx. 150' above chart datum Newlyn (AOD).
Many farmhouses in this area date back to the Domesday Survey and a great number have deeds and records dating back to the 15th century. I installed a submersible pump in one such farmhouse where I discovered the well in the kitchen (contemporary with the dwelling) is 80ft deep and in excellent condition!. The only relatively modern addition was a rod-operated lift and force pump mounted on oak beams 70ft down with a 'cow's tail' handle at the top and a 24 x18 cast iron cover at floor level (all installed late 19th / early 20th century) with a lead suction and galv.screwed riser secured by transverse beams fastened to rock and steining at intervals in the shaft. what a job!; all in reasonable condition and working to this day. I reckon they lowered an apprentice to fix this! :roll: 8)
griff
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: South Pool Kingsbridge Devon UK

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby arthur hamlin » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:19 pm

griff wrote:Hi Arthur
The old map circa 1830 says 'Roman Antiquity' and shows a 'tower' at approximately the site of the well. Later and current maps say 'Iron Age Fort'. In 1938 and undated earlier digs, some Samian ware was unearthed, giving the impression that the Romans had occupied the fort and dug the well. Grid Ref: SX 6340 4936 (Oldaport) approx. 150' above chart datum Newlyn (AOD).
Many farmhouses in this area date back to the Domesday Survey and a great number have deeds and records dating back to the 15th century. I installed a submersible pump in one such farmhouse where I discovered the well in the kitchen (contemporary with the dwelling) is 80ft deep and in excellent condition!. The only relatively modern addition was a rod-operated lift and force pump mounted on oak beams 70ft down with a 'cow's tail' handle at the top and a 24 x18 cast iron cover at floor level (all installed late 19th / early 20th century) with a lead suction and galv.screwed riser secured by transverse beams fastened to rock and steining at intervals in the shaft. what a job!; all in reasonable condition and working to this day. I reckon they lowered an apprentice to fix this! :roll: 8)


Hi Griff, thanks for your input with so much info, and am trying to get a picture of what it all looked like.
I am just wondering why is some of the equipment mounted on oak beams 70ft down? Would not the oak suffer from wet deterioration at that depth? And do you operate the cows tail by hand to get the water up?
Also any idea what the tower was doing at the site of the well? Have you dowsed this one?
I can easily accept that Romans built wells when here but unfortunately there does not seem much evidence for wells prior to that time, unless someone can say different!
Arthur
arthur hamlin
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:37 pm

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby Geoff Stuttaford » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:01 pm

This is all very interesting but no one has come up yet with any information whether dowsers were used to find any of these sources of water (which was the original question) anywhere on this planet.

Modbury : have dosed that there was a fortification built here but not by the Romans
Geoff

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel (Polonius)
User avatar
Geoff Stuttaford
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby griff » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:07 pm

Geoff. Sources.
1. I dowsed the new bore drilling site at Oldaport about 15years ago.
2. My colleague dowsed the site of the 'roman well' on the same day.
3. The depths and water levels indicated on the 'roman' site indicate either persistence in digging to 50ft and / or working to perceived reliable information provided by a dowser or other trusted person. http://www.devonruralarchive.com/Oldaport.html
http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis/Eng ... s/883.html

Arthur. Handpump installation in 80ft well.
'Lift and Force' piston pumps operated by hand will only lift water (suction) efficiently some 20-25 ft, whereas they will force (delivery) water to a greater head. So it has to be fixed above rest water level in the lower section of the shaft. Common practice was that the reciprocating operating rods are installed inside a larger diameter delivery pipe or riser to the wellhead where a stuffing gland prevents spillage and allows the pump to deliver to a higher level (eg. a storage tank in the roof of a dwelling).
The 'cow's tail' iron lever handle, is mounted on a backboard at the wellhead together with an NRV and plumbing connections to deliver water to a header tank.
Normal deepwell installation in rural areas until early 20th century. 8)
griff
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: South Pool Kingsbridge Devon UK

Re: Question - Dowsers in Antiquity ?

Postby Geoff Stuttaford » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:02 pm

Hi Griff,

1/2. Still dowse no evidence of a Roman occupation of that site.

3. Agreed

From the Oldaport article

"Archaeological evidence shows that the long spur, on the side of which the farm is located, was occupied by a promontory fort in the Iron Age, c.600-100BC, while cropmarks on the ridge top, west of the farm may relate to a later Iron Age or Romano-British farmstead. In the late Saxon period, the site was chosen as a defensive burh or fort, possibly being an early 11th century addition to a sequence of burhs placed at strategic locations across England in the 9th century by King Alfred the Great. This was confirmed in 2004 by a radiocarbon date in the early 11th century for the construction of its walls."

Dowsing again - Not an Iron Age fortification but Bronze Age and occupied 1300 to 900 BCE (approx).
Romano - British farmstead confirmed.
11th century defensive burgh there also confirmed.

{{The word 'Oldaport' is also interesting as it contains the very common old Devonian 'a' (same as my surname). The 'a', I understand, is Brythonic in origin. (the 'a' can also be an 'e' as in Bideford or an 'i'.as in Endicott) }}
Geoff

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel (Polonius)
User avatar
Geoff Stuttaford
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: Weston-super-Mare


Return to Water Dowsing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron