Town pumps

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Town pumps

This page is based on an article in the 1965 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise

The Hill Street pump was on the pavement behind the States Building

Jersey only started to get a public water supply in the second half of the 19th century and a main service spread slowly. Even today there are significant areas (albeit sparsely populated) which have yet to be reached by the main supply of the Jersey New Waterworks Company.

In 19th century Jersey, large properties in the country and town of St Helier had their own private wells, but thousands of people living in the town had to rely on public pumps. Most of these were situated at the roadside or in some public place, but others were on private property, although townspeople were given access to collect water.

Gradually the pumps were removed as homes were connected to the mains supply and wells, contaminated as a result of the deficiencies in the town's drainage system, were sealed. None of the pumps has survived, but historians have been able to identify the sites where most of them were situated.

  • Broad Street - A pump and well stood near the Le Sueur obelisk. After complaints about the poor condition of some pumps, this site was one of two where the well was deepened in 1835.
  • Cattle Market - There was a pump in the middle of the market
  • Charing Cross - The Pompe de Bas was on the pavement edge between Sand Street and York Street. On the western limits of the old town, it was one of the earliest pumps and in later years was illuminated at night by a gas lamp
  • First Tower - the pump stood at the bottom of Mont Cochon
  • Fish Market - there was a pump at the junction of the fish and vegetable markets
  • Fontaine de St Marc - This was the King's Well at the foot of Mont Martin, Rouge Bouillon. It was built over a spring with exceptionally pure water on private property, but the public were allowed to use it.
  • Fontaine Lamptot - a well at Le Coie
  • Fort Regent - a deep well was sunk at the Fort in 1806.
Francis Street pump in 1952
  • Francis Street - This pump was opposite 7 Francis Street. The well was sunk in 1836.
  • Hill Street - Behind the States Building this was the second pump whose well was deepened in 1835.
  • Lewis Street - On the opposite side of the road from Torque Villas
  • Lower Park - This pump was on the edge of the sand opposite where West Park Pavilion was built and was lost when Victoria Avenue was built
  • Marett Road - Built on a property known as The Pebbles
  • Market Street - La Pompe Perrot was moved to Market Street from Halkett Street, where it was known as the Fontaine Fiott after the owner of the land on which it stood
  • Minden Place - there was a pump on the site where the States Telephone Department was built
  • Newgate Street - in the wall of the prison
  • Pork Market - at the Halkett Street end of the Market
  • Racket Court - At the rear of St James's Church
  • Royal Parade - Near the Cenotaph
  • Sligo Lane - La Vieille Laverie was at the Devonshire Lane end of Sligo Lane
  • Snow Hill - La Pompe de Haut stood outside the Eastern Hotel between Hill Street and Queen Street
  • South Pier - In an archway under the steps in the high granite wall opposite the old lifeboat house and a second pump in the wall of a building next to La Folie Inn. These pumps served the English and French Harbours, the first part of St Helier's harbour to be built.
  • Vine Street - Outside the back of the Midland Bank
  • Weighbridge - In front of the Royal Yacht Hotel
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