Askern in 1843
Askern, a village in the parish of Campsall, of some celebrity for its sulphurous waters. It is situated in the West Riding of Yorkshire, wapentake of Osgoldcross, 7 miles north of Doncaster and 9 south of Pontefract. There are two good hotels, and numerous lodging-houses for the accommodation of visitors. The village is built on the edge of a rocky declivity, and borders on an extensive plain which spreads extensively to the north and east. The geological and the natural and topographical features of the neighbourhood, which are not without interest, are described in Dr. Lankesters 'Askern.' The earliest notice of the Askern waters occurs in a work by Dr. Short, published in 1734. There are several wells, and Dr. Lankester analysed the waters of six of them. The smell resembles that of the rinsings of a gun-barrel, and when taken from the spring the water is bright and sparkling, but assumes a milky appearance after standing a short time, and a slight film collects on its surface ; if allowed to stand for several hours, the cloudiness increases, and a precipitate, which is composed of sulphate and carbonate of lime, and traces of sulphur, falls to the bottom of the vessel. Chemical tests indicate the existence of sulphuretted hydrogen, or hydro-sulphuric acid gas. The temperature is not higher than that of the springs in the neighbourhood. Drinking the waters and the use of them in baths have been very efficacious in rheumatism, gout, cutaneous diseases, indigestion, paralysis or palsy, and scrofula. A Bath-Charity was established in 1825 for enabling poor persons to avail themselves of the benefit of the waters. The number of cases admitted from 1832 to 1840 was 1,094, the greater number of whom were for rheumatism. On the day when the census was taken in 1841, there were 131 strangers who had come for the benefit of the waters. Including strangers, the population was only 468. The only place of worship is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel ; the building intended to be used by different sects.