A couple of miles south of us is the hamlet of Stoke Purton a few miles further is Purton village.
Seeking a new route for a Rosie walk we headed to Stoke Purton and walked along a No Through Road road. The OS map indicated something called a Salts Hole. We came upon it. There was a low gate in a thick hedge secured by a stout combination lock. About a hundred metres beyond stood a Victorian gothic hexagonal building with a stout door, elegant gabled roof. Around this summerhouse-like building undergrowth, trees and bushes battled for supremacy.
This was Salts Hole, a Victorian spa, written about by Katharine M. Jordan in Seven Wiltshire Wells and their Folklore.
We saw the stone plaque over the door of what was the pump room.
THE ANCIENT SALTS HOLE. SULPHATED AND BROMO-IODATED SALINE WATER ANALYZED BY D.VOELCKER 1880
For local people around here used saline water from the spring to cure many ills.
In 1850s its owner drained the area and fenced off the spring. People soon broke the railings anxious for the heating waters, for there was no Boots in Cricklade or Lloyds in Purton at that time.
In her text © Katharine M. Jordan (1998) she tells
“It is curious, by the way, that the only structural part of the pump-house to have disappeared should be the doors. It is well-known in Wiltshire that they have no doors in Purton: so much so that, should you forget to close the door behind you, the cry goes up: ‘D’you come from Purton?’
I can testify to this having met two lovely local ladies in Purton village churchyard this morning; they corroborated the saying ‘D’you come from Purton?’. However curiously enough they had not heard of the Salts Hole a few miles away.
Complete source for Jordan’s text: https://insearchofholywellsandhealingsprings.com/the-source-new-series-contents/seven-wiltshire-wells-and-their-folklore/
I have ordered a copy of Folklore of Ancient Wiltshire, 1990
by Katharine M. Jordan and eagerly await more discoveries hereabouts.