The wellhead was originally placed in the Formal Garden at Hestercombe by the Hon Mr and Mrs Portman in 1904. It was later noted in two of the four pre-war articles that were written on Hestercombe by Country Life in 1927.
The wellhead stood in the garden until just after Mrs Portman’s death on May 4, 1951, after which time it was sold by the Commissioners of Crown Lands along with five fireplaces and an assortment of other garden ornaments from Hestercombe.
It was purchased by A Crowther of T Crowther & Son Ltd., dealers in antiques from Fulham, and A Crowther travelled personally to Hestercombe to inspect the goods.
From here the piece disappeared into private ownership and is presumed to be resting in a private garden somewhere.
The wellhead was initially willed by Mrs. Portman to her sister, who apparently didn’t want it.
The dream for Hestercombe would be to find the wellhead and reinstate it in the grounds, but any information from the public as to its whereabouts would be gratefully received so that the Hestercombe archives can be updated with its new location.
If you have any information about the wellhead, you can contact the Hestercombe archivist Kim Legate on [email protected] or by calling 01823-413923.
You can find out more about the history of Hestercombe Gardens and House by visiting www.hestercombe.com