What is the history of the waterworks that gave Waterworks Road its name in Trowbridge?
A scheme was first proposed for a waterworks in Trowbridge in 1864 and land was made available for the boring of a well off Frome Road. The idea was to sink a deep well, pump water into 2 large reservoirs and lay pipes from them to supply the town. Up until then the inhabitants of Trowbridge obtained their water from private wells or from various public pumps in the town. The quality of the water varied and in some areas the supply was erratic. A company was launched and work began slowly. By November 1965 a staem engine was pumping water and shortly after that pipes were being laid under the roads. Work continued slowly with one of the principal shareholders going bankrupt. By 1868 the company was in liquidation and a new company was formed in June and they finished the work. Unfortunately the price of water was considered to be too high and there were few subscribers. The company was wound up in July 1870.
The 3 acre site containing the waterworks was advertised for sale in 1871. It included, 2 brick lined reservoirs, each of 100 sqaure feet, a brick steam engine and boiler house, a well of 9 feet in diameter and 159 feet deep with an iron lined borehole below it of 110 feet, and 6,300 yards of cast iron mains pipes laid under the streets. The road of contemporary houses alongside the waterworks, between Frome Road and Gloucester Road, was called Waterworks Road.
A new Trowbridge Water Company was formed and eventually water for Trowbridge was pumped from Biss Bottom, between Westbury and Upton Scudamore. The piped water was turned on in the town on 30th September 1874.
Trowbridge's Fight for Pure Water, by M.J. Lansdown, West Wiltshire Branch of the Historical Association, 1968