For generations the waters from
The water flows from a natural spring which throughout the years has defined the village and at one time, was the chief resource for domestic an irrigation purposes. In fact, it is because of the spring why the Village got its name.
The name Pot House Pen may also may have had negative connotations (at least to the Verley’s) and was likely not as appealing to their visitors. Since they owned such vast portions of land their influence would be widespread as one would imagine.
owned lands from Thetford back to church pen. In
addition, they also owned lands bordered by Rock Stone road, which includes
Hayes Pen and the section where the All-Age
school is now located. This property continued all the way up through the Innswood Plantation to
The property at
The area had a guest house which was
frequented by visitors of the Verleys and in its
time, was also used as a residence for Mr. Vincent Verley (
The house (as shown) is now destroyed but much of its original framework still remains. It is a single level structure and is of brick, stone and mortar construction. Its walls are at least two feet thick which is common for most buildings of that period. (thickness to be verified)
As is commonly known, many
villagers worked for the Verleys. The main housekeep
at the time was the mother of Miss Vetty Walters. Her
nickname was Mada. She managed the affairs of the
house and lived there until her death. Miss Vetty’s
Husband (Mass Deanie) on the other hand, consistently
The main feature of
The area was always populated with fruit trees and is still graced, by several large palm trees. These must have been among those originally planted by the Verleys. There are others such as mango, breadftuit and various others which may have been more recent.
The pool, in previous years, had a large dark-brown wooded hut which was used for changing rooms. This was located just in front of the pool (on the right of picture) and was divided into two large sections, each with their own set of seats. Each section was used for male or female accordingly. The changing rooms, though a late addition of the Verley days, did not stand the test of time. It was destroyed sometime during the last ten to fifteen years and was never rebuilt.
The pool is from time to time used by members from the nearby communities as they stop by to catch their evening bath and sample the cool refreshing waters of the spring. It is sometimes used for baptisms by various local churches and was used for this purpose, more so in former years than recent. It has four steps on the long side and three on the short side which is sometimes convenient since it is as much as 7 feet deep.
Because of the elevation plus the spring, the area maintains an average 850F. An hour or so in the pool has been known to make a great difference in one’s temperament throughout the rest of the day. The water is considered to be therapeutic and adds to the holistic mix of water, greenery and man.
The spring is located on the northern side of the property. It is close to the foot of the hill and is likely an artesian source which feeds from the local water table and possibly includes small underground tributaries from the surrounding hillside, as well as the Red Hills elevation. The head, as seen from these pictures is surrounded by concrete to preserve its contour and protect it from encroaching vegetation. It is not known when this was constructed but seems to fit within the period of the existing structures due to its rustic nature.
The water flows downhill into a narrow canal,
where it enters two cisterns. These cisterns then feeds
the main canal to the pool as well as the network of pipes for further
distribution. The water from the canal runs through the main bathing pool (
There are currently three known
pipe branches. Two goes through the village and one through Rock Stone behind
the building of the
The other two pipes run underneath the main road of the village with the first terminating through the Walters’s property (Canal) and the second, nicknamed “Bottom Pipe” passes through the land currently owned by Mr. Chin. Both pipes terminate into Canals. These canals lead to the river, after which the water was later piped across the river into the Thetford plantation.
The water from the spring flows into a narrow channel where it enters two concrete cisterns as shown. The pair is arranged as primary and secondary reservoirs, which work as filters for the waters flowing through them. The primary cistern is used to trap large debris and the secondary provides additional filtering before the water is distributed through the pipes. The secondary cistern has an iron sluice gate which is normally closed but is there to probably divert the water during cleaning. The picture on the right, also shows a bulb-like iron attachment (off to the side), which was used as a strainer for the entrance of the pipe.
The pictures below show the two main paths of water flow, which are the canal, which flows into the pool, and the large pipes, which goes to the village. These are the main conduits for water distribution, which brings this precious commodity to its customers.
The age of this network is currently not known and further research should prove this, however during the Verley years, it is a known fact that one of our senior villagers, Mr. Alban Whyte (Mass Alban), from time to time made repairs on the pipe 1.
Canal delivering water to the main pool. Pipes delivering water to the village.
The serenity of
Another legend has it that at a certain time of the year, a book came up out of the head of the spring and was elevated above the waters. One day, this man (name unknown), saw this happen and removed the book. He took the book up to Thetford to show it to Mr. Clyde but Mr. Clyde told him that he should return the book to where he found it. The poor fellow died as a result of his action and it is rumored that he has been buried up there somewhere 2.
Legend or not, one thing is sure,
and it is that the waters of
Sources and Other Research links found:
1. Mr. Alban White: One of our most senior Villagers, 92yesrs old.
2. Mrs. Barbara Cameron: Elder Villager,
Information for further reading:
Thetford Great House National Heritage Trust web site
The Verley Family Tree Family Tree Website
Search for Family Names Jamaica Family search site
Search for Old Almanacs Jamaica Almanacs search site
Property owners in 1800’s Bromfeild family Research Site
Genealogy Research Bromfeild family Research Site