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In the latter part of the 18th century some of Britain's eastern coastal defences, although strategically well-positioned, were vulnerable because of the lack of a secure water supply. The military engineer Captain Thomas Hyde Page was tasked with identifying any water resources within the confines of the forts and garrisons that might be developed. At Sheerness he supervised the sinking of a deep, large-diameter well through the London Clay, which tapped water in underlying sands. The idea of a deep well was possibly influenced by the results of deepening a well at nearby Queenborough Castle some 60 years before....

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