Compton Millenium Wellhead
After various suggestions were discussed as to how to commemorate the 2000 Millennium it was decided to make a feature on the site of the well in Compton Square. The well had been in use until the mid 1920’s but the water had become polluted and was therefore unusable.
Barbara, wife of Leonard Wood then the Parish Clerk, drew up plans for consideration which were accepted. A drawing of the proposed wellhead was then circulated via the Octagon magazine with an appeal for donations. The appeal had an overwhelming response and over £3000 was raised which was matched by a grant from the District Council.
Following the necessary planning permission labour costs were minimised by inviting the Building and Carpentry faculties of the Chichester Technical Collage to undertake the construction of the Wellhead as a student project which they were willing to undertake.
One of the conditions of the Council Grant was that all materials were to be locally sourced. Consequently the bricks are from the brickworks in Midhurst, the ironwork from the forge at Halnaker and Covers supplied the green oak. When work was being carried out on one of the timber beams a musket ball was discovered imbedded in the wood - a tangible link to a past era!
The design of the ironwork that caps the well incorporates the four compass points, the names of the villages of the parish and at the centre “MM” - the roman letters for 2000.
Before completion a time capsule was concealed in the well by the students who had worked on the project. The whole construction cost approximately £6000 which was incredible value for money. John Couzens, a Parish Councillor at the time, gave invaluable help throughout the project with his expertise in building construction and local knowledge.
There was an official opening of the Wellhead attended by dignitaries from the District & County Councils which was featured in the Chichester Observer followed by celebratory drinks & nibbles in the Parish Room for all those who had donated towards the Millennium Wellhead. ..