Little Paxton Health Spa & ‘Neotia’
View of the Paper Mill at Little Paxton when the health spa was opened in 1895

Taking the waters at St Neots Spa in Huntingdonshire

The spring originated near or under the paper mill and an idea arose to popularise St Neots by promoting it as a spa town. A small committee was set up in 1895, they leased the mineral spring, believed to be chalybeate similar to Hail Weston springs, and allegedly dug a 90 foot deep well. The idea appears to have gained momentum with dreams of an East Anglian version of Tunbridge Wells. Later that year the grand opening was arranged for Whit Monday, with a procession of boats rowed from the town bridge to the spa, complete with floating band.

This photograph is held in St Neots Museum – Ref  SNEMU 1996.67.266
Celebrating Opening of the Spa 1895. Hotel & Public Rooms in the background

The company Messrs. Jordan & Addington were ready, prepared to produce bottles of ‘Neotia’ for sale, examples were used in quantity as decoration for the opening ceremony. The water now piped from source had been plugged, with Mrs Fydell Rowley officially unplugging and declaring the spa open. A ceremonial round was drunk from the Fellow Football Cup, recently won by St Neots Town Football Club.

Local enthusiasm at its height a company was created in 1896 with press

Spa Water Spring at Little Paxton in 1952

speculating on the building of a baths, claims being made of a dog being completely cured of sores by bathing in the spas curative waters. However it was all very short lived, with no land available for even just a pump house to be built, and the market for ‘Neotia’ apparently not materialising. By the turn of the last century, just five years from conception there were complaints that the spa was a neglected eye sore.



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