Welcome To Tutton’s Well

Many Christchurch residents may be unaware that the Borough contains the last remaining natural geological erupting mineral spring within a public open space in East Dorset.

The ancient Tutton’s Well can be found in Stanpit, near the Stanpit Recreation car park. The water of the well was recognised as having unusual purity with medicinal values as it contains a wide range of important minerals. In medieval times it was transported around the country as a cure and known as The Christchurch Elixir. The traditional annual pilgrimage to the Priory included the healing benefits of this spring water from the monks.

In July 2009 the Council’s Planning Control Committee agreed that the Friends of Tutton’s Well could restore ancient features to the Tutton’s Well site. These will include:

  • restoring the quay wall at Stanpit Creek (from which fishermen used to launch their fishing boats)
  • restoring the Dipping Place – this will allow the original branch of the spring to emerge
  • restoring a working crank pump to the Well
  • erecting a notice board to give a historical perspective.

The restoration of the Tutton’s Well features is due to the generous patronage of Tom Tutton without whom this valuable local history would be lost to memory.

The Friends of Tutton’s Well depend on donations to help with the maintenance of the Tutton’s Well site. If you are able of give a donation, no matter how small, we’d welcome it. Please contact the Treasurer of the Friends.

The surrounding green, used by fishermen for drying nets (or landing contraband on its little quay) formed the nucleus of Stanpit village life for centuries.

In 1885 the well, pump and green were given to the locals as a public water supply by Sir William Rose to commemorate his parents, the Rt. Hon. Sir George Henry Rose (former MP for Christchurch) and his wife Dame Frances, of Sandhills, Mudeford.

The well was capped in 1941; the probable site of the dipping place built over in 2002; this tribute was built in 2004.

(How Tutton’s Well got its name is a mystery)

Open Day

Open Day


Tutton’s Well at Stanpit, one of Christchurch’s oldest landmarks, was reopened on Saturday July 10th, 2004 after a long campaign by conservationists

The Friends of Tutton’s Well group was set up in the 1990’s when it was feared that the rebuilding of the nearby Guides’ hut would destroy the well which had been used as a source of pure water since the bronze age.

However further archaeological investigations near the hut and in the centre of the plot suggested that the greatest flow of water was from the latter, with over 5,000 gallons an hour, so it was decided to reconstruct it there.

Stockbroker Tom Tutton, who despite his name has no known family links to Christchurch, funded the creation of the stone features, with the rest of the work being carried out by volunteers.

The reopening ceremony was performed by Mr Tutton and the Mayor of Christchurch, Coun. Sue Spittle, with around 50 supporters attending. Master of ceremonies was Coun. Kevin Dingley, the chairman of the Friends, and refreshments were provided by the Avonmouth Hotel. Local graphic designer Colin Bolger designed labels for commemorative bottles of water for which people gave donations. It is hoped that, after testing, the Council will be able to exploit the water supply to sell as bottled mineral water.

To mark the historic occasion, members of the Friends committee dressed up variously as a monk, a well wench, a water hawker, a leper, a fisherman, a smuggler and Sir William Rose, who donated the site as a public water supply in 1885. The Friends are now hoping to restore the former fishermen’s dock on the nearby edge of the harbour.

“At last one of Christchurch’s oldest links to antiquity has been saved from destruction,” said Friends committee member Tim Baber. “The water looks absolutely crystal clear and we hope the testing process has a positive result.”

Source: New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times, 17/07/2004

Local poet Anne Allinson of Highcliffe-on-Sea wrote a poem for the Well

A spring of mineral water crystal clear,
And pure, refreshed the Christchurch people here,
From ancient times before the Romans came,
May this inscription long preserve its fame!