Chalybeate water was early in the 17th century said to have health-giving properties and many people have promoted their qualities. Lord North's physician claimed that it contained Ôvitriol' and, according to opinion of the day, could cure Ôthe colic, the melancholy, and the vapours; it made the lean fat, the fat lean; it killed flat worms in the belly, loosened the clammy humours of the body, and dried the over-moist brain'.
"These waters youth in age renew Strength to the weak and sickly add Give the pale cheek a rosy hue And cheerful spirits to the sad."
Princess Victoria, later Queen Victoria, drank the waters every day during her stay in Tunbridge Wells in 1834. She and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, would pay a visit to the spring and then enjoy a stroll along the Pantiles. The water contains a significant level of dissolved mineral salts, with iron and manganese contributing to its characteristic flavour.
An analysis in 1967 showed it to contain (parts per million):
* Iron(II) carbonate, FeCO3 25.3
* Manganese(II) carbonate, MnCO3 4.6
* Calcium sulphate, CaSO4 60.9
* Magnesium sulphate, MgSO4 13.4
* Magnesium chloride, MgCl2 7.8*
* Sodium chloride, NaCl 57.2
* Potassium chloride, KCl 7.3
Places with chalybeate springs
Chalybeate springs are found in:
* The city of Gloucester,
* Dorton Spa in the village of Dorton Buckinghamshire (said to contain four times the iron of Tunbridge Wells)
* Southwick - Northamptonshire
* Peterhead and
* Fraserburgh in NE Scotland and
* Lipetsk in Central Russia
* Sharon Springs, a village in Schoharie County, New York
* The Chapeltoun Burn source near Stewarton in East Ayrshire, Scotland
Places named after the springs
Several places throughout the world have taken their name from similar springs, including:
* Chalybeate, Mississippi.
* Chalybeate, Kentucky, Edmonson County,
* Chalybeate Springs, North Carolina, Harnett County
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