New ‘immersive soundscape’ art celebrates Harrogate’s spa history
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Last updated Oct 13, 2021
The Royal Pump Room Museum, Harrogate.
The Royal Pump Room Museum

A new art installation will celebrate the 450th anniversary of William Slingsby’s discovery of spring waters at Tewit Well in Harrogate.

Sound and light artists Dan Fox and James Bawn will bring the history to life on Crown Place, which is the cobbled street between the Crown Hotel and the Royal Pump Room Museum.

Called ‘1571 The Waters That Made Us’, the artwork will consist of recordings of water sounds, from deep underground noises to the well and the tap water sounds at the pump room museum.

Mr Fox said:

“This is an immersive soundscape played through speakers along the length of Crown Place.”

The temporary exhibit will be in place from October 17 until October 23. You can visit for free between 2pm and 9pm daily.

It will form part of the build up to the four-day Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, which takes place from October 21 to 24.


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Speakers at the festival, which takes place at The Crown Hotel, include Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and historian Melanie King, who will talk about the history of Harrogate’s mineral springs.

Pictured from left are Deborah Boylan, from Raworths, and Marcus Black and Clare Gibson from Slingsby Gin.

Harrogate International Festivals chief executive Sharon Canavar said:

“2021 has been momentous for a lot of things, few of them being celebratory.

“So it felt only right we lead on a new, temporary attraction for Harrogate to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the discovery of our spa waters.

“The event industry was particularly hard hit by covid, and commissioning new artistic work, and a new tourism attraction, in the midst of the pandemic was a risk.

“However, as an arts organisation, it was one we were determined to take as we firmly believe that keeping artists in work is key.

“It’s also a superb opportunity to celebrate the rich history of Harrogate.”

Information about this year’s Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, and the visiting guest writers, can be found on Harrogate International Festivals’ website.

Interested in Harrogate’s history? Join celebrated local historian Malcolm Neesam on two guided audio walks by clicking or tapping here.


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