Borough Council of Wellingborough

The future of Wellingborough’s mosaics

Published Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Wellingborough’s mosaics represent key aspects of the town’s history. In recent years the two mosaics have been significantly damaged due to weather and traffic movement.

The existing mosaics were installed in the late 1990s and symbolise the twinning of Wellingborough with Niort in France and Wittlich in Germany and five of the towns wells. They were restored by the Borough Council of Wellingborough in 2015 however; the mosaics have since experienced further damage.

Councillors met in December last year to discuss the future of the two mosaics, and agreed that the Twin Towns mosaic, which is located outside of the entrance of the Swansgate Shopping Centre, is beyond repair and will be removed and the pavement reinstated. Works started on Wednesday 12 June.

The larger ‘five wells’ mosaic at the bottom of Market Street can be repaired and works will be carried out in the autumn, with removable bollards put in place to stop delivery vehicles driving over the mosaics and help prevent future damage. This mosaic depicts the spring waters that were first captured by medieval settlers and helped the town to prosper. Although the town had lots of wells, the five featured on the mosaic are Red Well, Whyte Well, Burymoor Well, Stan Well and Rising Sun Well.

The most well-known is the Red Well, which received royal approval when King Charles brought his new Queen to visit in 1626. The young bride, Queen Henrietta, spent her first full summer in England in Wellingborough and resided here for nine weeks on hearing that the waters had fertility properties. The Queen visited two further times in 1627 and 1628, camping close to the source of the pure spring water. The Queen went on to have her first child in May the following year.

Leader of the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Cllr Martin Griffiths, said: “The mosaics represent a significant part of our borough’s history; councillors have agreed that the damage to the Twin Towns mosaic is too extensive. However, we are dedicated to ensuring that the mosaic is commemorated in the borough and are in the process of discussing how this can be achieved.

“We will work with contractors to carry out essential repair works to the five wells mosaic, in the hope to extend their life span for our residents and visitors to enjoy.”