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One of the more unusual features of our house is an internal well. A working well, at that – we know when we’ve had a deluge as we can hear the rain water roaring into it. We don’t know how old it is, or whether it was originally built inside the house. Our builder, from his knowledge of things around these parts, says it’s certainly more than 100 years old, probably a lot older and was probably outside the house. Meaning that at some point, perhaps when owners came into a bit of cash, they extended the house around it. A very unusual decision, we are told, as the well would most probably have been the only  source of water for the village. So, this structure has real history and stories attached to it – and is beautiful. Just entirely impractical for our way of living. It sits in the middle of the room, taking up quite a lot of space, so what we can do with this room is very restricted.

The Well Room, before...

The Well Room, just after we moved in…

It’s been used as a temporary decorator’s table…

And, at certain times has looked very pretty…

But – it is still in the way. We were also noticing, over the colder months, that patches of damp were beginning to appear on the walls. No surprise when you live above a chamber, full of water! So, Misko, our builder came to the rescue – and to whom nothing is ever a problem.

Armed with a small pump, a length of tape and a hose, he arrived yesterday to begin draining it. It doesn’t look the most sophisticated set-up, but it’s working! The water level has dropped so much, that with a powerful torch, we can see now (over 24 hours later) see the floor of the well, and the side walls which are becoming exposed as the water level drops. In the reflection of the water, we can also just about make out the arched roof of the well.

The draining begins...

The draining begins…

As the water level drops, the internal walls of the chambr are starting to be exposed

As the water level drops, the internal walls of the chamber are starting to be exposed

We hope that by tomorrow, the water will have drained and the pipe down which the rain water flows, will be diverted – we’ve had nearly a week of sunshine, but tomorrow rain is forecast and we definitely don’t want any rainwater getting in again. It will also mean that Misko can get down into it and we can finally find out our options.

Option 1 is that the chamber walls are false and can be broken through, potentially opeing up another room. But also potentially opening up a whole host of unforseen issues, aside from the fact we’d have to create an internal access down into this room. Or, if we win the Croatian lottery, access from the outside in.

Option 2 is seeming to be the much more practical – and I think, in the short term, much more beautiful – solution. The orange piping in the picture above, actually encases electricity cable, installed by the previous owners. We should ask them what their plan had been for the well, as you wouldn’t go to the expense of installing this kind of electricity supply without a plan. We suspect it was maybe what we are planning – having the shell of the well removed (easier said than done, especially as it wider than the front door) and re-positioned outside, in the garden, and then covering the access hole with reinforced glass, and having it lit up from below.

And this means I have obviously spent this afternoon on Pinterest…

Our well is square, rather than the conventional round shape, so these beauties below have really caught my eye…

I think would work just as wel inside, and the opaque glass would look lovely when underlit...

I think would work just as well inside, and the opaque glass would look lovely when underlit… image from www.oxfordshireglass.com

Piece Hall. Image : www.oxfordshireglass.com

Piece Hall. Image : www.oxfordshireglass.com

Image : www.oxfordshireglass.com

I like that the internal walls can still be seen through the glass window Image : www.oxfordshireglass.com

So, tomorrow is potentially a very big day, as we discover the fate of the beautiful well. And maybe find some long forgotten treasure which was hidden many years ago…

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UPDATE…

48 hours after we started, the last few drops of water have just draned outof the well. Now, what do with her…