Black water in London. The sinister story of the “Death Pump” (7 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
13 April 2024

The photo, taken in 1876, shows unsuspecting children carefree pumping water from the Death Pump.

But then they called him completely differently. This was the Aldgate pump, one of the few in central London that was not connected to a central water supply.

At the beginning of the 13th century there was a well here. The pump was first installed on the site of the well in the 16th century. In the 18th century it was rebuilt, installing a stone obelisk, which still stands today.

The brass spout in the shape of a wolf's head also has an interesting symbolic history. This is where the last wolf in the City of London was shot.

The water in this pump has always been considered the purest and ideal in taste. Local tea merchants always filled their teapots here - it is pleasant to taste tea on such water.

The pump was a meeting place; people often met here, communicated, and discussed the latest news. It was also a kind of border - after it East London began. Because of this, the residents of the center, who looked down on the “Easterns,” developed a contemptuous saying:

"East of Aldgate Pump people care about nothing but drink, vice and crime."

In 1876, the water suddenly tasted slightly different. But this did not alarm the residents; they decided that the water had become mineralized and only got better.

But it turned out that the reason for the change in taste had a much more sinister reason. The spring came into contact with the local cemetery. The water, indeed, was partly mineralized with calcium, but at the same time it turned out to be toxic. Hundreds of people died from poisoning.

Aldermary Cemetery, located nearby, played a sinister role in the history of London.

An investigation was carried out, after which the pump was forcibly connected to the central water supply system. But no one else wanted to use it.

Now this stone pump remains here as a monument. Few people remember this eerie story with which he is closely connected.

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