Friday, July 11, 2014
A gaping void measuring 11 metres deep and five metres wide was discovered under a road off Great Paxton High Street.
The initial report of a football-sized hole on the London Lane and High Street junction led to a detailed investigation by Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways workers.
The investigation revealed the hole, which was approximately the size of a single-decker bus, was in fact an unrecorded brick-built well.
London Lane was closed off to all traffic and remained that way for the next three days.
Highway workers excavated the area and pumped out the water in the well. They then filled the hole with around 40 tonnes of gravel and concreted over it before relaying the road surface. The road was reopened last Thursday (July 3).
David Lloyd, a London Lane resident, told The Hunts Post: “Had a car or pedestrian fallen through the road or pavement surface and into the water filled cavity the outcome does not bear thinking about.
“A remark from one of the site engineers is that the chasm was so big that a Transit van would be lost inside it.”
A CCC spokesman said they had no records of the well. One engineer said the bricks which lined the well were in good condition and similar to the bricks used to build the first set of cottages on London Lane – they were built in the 1880s.
David Edwards, who has lived in Great Paxton his whole life, said a hand pump used to be installed on the corner of London Lane but he could not recall when it disappeared.
He said: “My father used to pump the water for Great Paxton village during the war.”
Although now covered up, the well could still be restored to a working order if ever needed as the gravel can be easily removed.