October 19, 2010 12.39 pm This story is over 156 months old

Can you see this Roman well?

Invisible: A restored Roman well in the Bailgate area can be seen very rarely due to condensation on its glass enclosure.

A Roman well which has been covered by glass as part of the Bailgate restoration project has been barely visible for the past four months due to condensation.

As part of a £1.1m project, the Lincolnshire County Council protected the remains of the Roman well with a new glass covering.

The Roman well is probably from the fourth or sixth century, and in the past decades had an earth mound protective capping on the top.

The project cleaned up the well, added discreet lighting at the bottom, along with a glass enclosure and safety rails.

But condensation has obscured visitors’ view of the well since July, when the project was finalised amid 17% overspending.

Fans and vents have been installed for the Roman well glass covering to reduce the condensation, but the solution it not working as desired.

Shane Croucher (22), a student at the University of Lincoln said: “It’s always totally hidden by the condensation.

“People passing by often have a nosey over to see what it is, but leave baffled or annoyed. Very rarely do I actually get to see the well when I go there.”

A solution in the bag

The condensation on the glass enclosure leaves little of the well to be seen by visitors.

Les Outram, the Senior Project Officer at the County Council, in charge of the Bailgate restoration project, said he was pleased to have exposed the old Roman well.

“Whilst we were aware of this possible issue at the design stage, we couldn’t be sure how severe it would be until the work was complete.

“[We are] now working through a series of potential solutions to recify the problem of condensation forming on the protective glass.

“Consequenty, we have now ordered a humidity control system, arriving next month, and are confident this will make a difference.”

The humidity control system will cost £5,000, which was negotiated on a payment by success basis; if it doesn’t meet the specification, it will be returned at no cost.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure this fascinating piece of history is viewable at all times,” Outram reassured.

The vents at the side of the well's glass enclosure do not work as desired.