For centuries, the village relied on wells for its water supplies. Many houses had their own well, but there were public pumps at the Old Grey Well (outside the present Worthy Pearson's in Park Square, and outside The Buck Hotel.
Where wells could be sunk through the surface clay down to sand or gravel, particularly in the Low Green area where the earliest settlement had started, water quality was probably acceptable. Around High Green, and in California, where the sub-soil was solid clay, wells were easily contaminated by surface water. The Old Grey Well was often declared unfit for human consumption, and a new well was sunk in the corner of High Green.
Cleveland Lodge, and its estate, had a private water supply collected from Cockshaw and piped down into the village.
History of Great Ayton Water Supply Dennis Tyerman & Ian Pearce
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