At the south end of our lower terrace is a stone pool filled by a water spout. The spout, which is said to be based on one at Viterbo in Italy, is of carved stone, as seen in this photograph, and it was restored to working order a few years ago when we stopped the pool from leaking. My parents had kept it empty deliberately, recognising the risk to visitors, but we prefer to have it filled by the spout but discreetly fenced off.
Aesthetic considerations apart, the pool seems to attract visitors with money to spare. Soon after the pool was first filled, we were surprised to find that visitors were throwing money into the water, perhaps making a wish in the process. As the bottom of the pool every year, the coins are easily visible. They are mostly 1p and 2p pieces, but occasionally the odd 50p or even a £1 coin finds its way to the bottom.
At the end of the season, we drain the pool and clean it out. The coins get shovelled into buckets with the mud that also inevitably finds its way there. The contents are washed and sieved, and the money is given to St John the Baptist Church in Eastnor. Although the counting process is laborious, and we can’t do it by weight as the occasional foreign coin appears, the result is worth waiting for. Last year, we gave £122.38 to the Church, for which the PCC were very grateful. JH-B 5th April ’10