Plumb opportunity as hotel bids to solve mystery of well

It has been a source of mystery for over 30 years but now efforts are being made to find out more about a historic well.

Stuart Oxtoby, one of the owners of the Mount Royal Hotel in York, reflected in the well in the grounds

Winter maintenance work has been carried out on the garden near the site of the well at York’s Mount Royale Hotel, whose managers, unsure of the well’s origins, have been spurred into trying to find out more about it.

“The well has been there for a long time and this winter’s work programme reminded me of its original discovery,” said hotel director Stuart Oxtoby.

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The well was originally discovered by York Archaeological Trust which excavated the site 30 years ago when the hotel’s swimming pool was built. But since then nobody has ventured down the well and the hotel is now looking for a qualified expert who might be prepared to plumb its depths in a bid to discover more about it.

“There is evidence on record of a number of scattered burial sites in this area and we could be located on one such site. It would be interesting to know the significance of the well,” Mr Oxtoby said..

“The city’s heritage is the main reason for visitors coming to York and it will be interesting to learn of our well’s history.

“We do not know anything about the well, or how deep it is. We just do not know anything about it.”