Wilkin plumbers

How George Wilkin helped saved lives

A feature of the recent Heritage weekend was an exhibition of Alnwick residents who had turned their hand to inventing something useful.

One of these was George Wilkin, who was working as a plumber in Alnwick in the mid-1800’s. This date is extremely relevant, as the great Alnwick cholera outbreak took place in 1849, taking the lives of 136 residents in a matter of a few weeks. The cause of such carnage was debated at the time, but there seems little doubt now. Most housing had no proper sanitation, and human waste was dumped all around the town. Worse still the outpourings from these dung heaps were leached into the groundwater from which the flow to Alnwick’s many pants were fed.

Besides helping to carry out the installation of proper sanitation and water feeds to households in the town, George addressed his mind to the more challenging situations where users of the new water closets would not necessarily use them properly

.See more fascinating details about George -including the link to Robbie Burns, poet Click here

Stay up to date with what's happening at Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery

Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery will use the information you provide to keep in touch with you, to provide updates on what is happening at the museum and occasionally to ask if you would like to help us with fundraising efforts to keep our volunteer-run museum viable. Please tick the box below to give us permission to stay in contact. For more information please visit out Privacy Policy

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at ask@bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk. We will treat your information with respect.  By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.


14 Bailiffgate, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1LX
Opening Times - 10am - 4pm Tuesday to Sunday 

Tel: +44 (0) 1665 605847

Send us a message

Invalid Email
Please check the captcha to verify you are not a robot.
Scroll to Top