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Builth and district
Builth Wells: a spa town
 
  Taking the waters  
 

It became fashionable in the 18th century for wealthy people to visit places with mineral springs to "take the waters". There were different types of springs each with a different mineral in the water, and these were thought to be good for different kinds of ailments.
The springs around Llandrindod Common had been visited since the 17th century at least, and the tradesmen of Builth were hopeful that springs around Builth could be found which would attract visitors there.

 
  Victorian map of Park Wells
Mineral springs were found one mile outside the town, and hopes were high that these could be developed. A visitor who came to take the waters at the Park Wells at Builth in 1747 said they tasted strongly of sulphur and smelled "like gunpowder".
 
  People visited these Wells not just for the good of their health. It was also something of a holiday, so a spa needed good accommodation and lots for the visitors to do. The Park Wells (below) had a room above the Pump Room and a guest house, but in early Victorian times there were said to be "no more than three or four houses in the town or neighbourhood which offer accommodation."  
  Park Wells in Victorian times.  
  With the coming of the railways more working people were able to visit the wells, and hotel accommodation grew in the town.
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More about taking the waters...

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