Roots of  The Well House Collection

The Well House Collection started as a privately owned cornucopia of Melksham photographs and ephemera acquired by Lisa Ellis as she learned more about the heritage of her adopted home. Through this research it was discovered that there was much hidden history that Melksham had to be proud of, and she wanted to share this information.

Lisa's husband, Graham Ellis, started Well House Consultants Ltd., a computer training company, in 1995. She met Graham in the summer of 1996; from then she casually helped with the business until they married in 1998, and from that point they worked together full time out of their home. The business grew and they bought the property now known as Well House Manor in 2006. This enabled them to enlarge their meeting room space and offer residential courses.

Well House Manor grew to offer leisure and business accommodation, meeting rooms and a cafe in addition to the training courses held there. With strong encouragement from colleague and friend, Phil McMullen, an additional meeting room was converted to house The Well House Collection with the intention of freely sharing information and research, as well as displaying photographs and ephemera, with the general public.

With the support of the Melksham community, the museum has become a tribute to Melksham's heritage. This support comes in many ways, through volunteering, donations and artefact loans, and it thrives on the enthusiasm shown for the efforts.

Lisa retired from the business, and soon after, the accommodation side closed as well. Graham, also reaching a decision to downsize his training work and focus more on volunteering, namely local transportation issues, the couple decided to put Well House Manor on the market and move the museum and limited training courses to their home, where it all began. But moving the museum turned out to be a problem. Their historic home just would not allow visitors with mobility issues. And even though more artefacts and books were arriving, the room dedicated for museum use wasn't much bigger than the small room in Well House Manor. Therefore, a decision was made to reverse: move home to Well House Manor and put the museum in the now redunant large meeting room. It's been a decison that has worked remarkably well.

The Well House Collection

 

LISA ELLIS

HISTORIAN
Moved to Melksham in 2000. Works for Well House Consultants Ltd. as Administrator. Background in magazine production, graphic design and marketing. Extensive experience in genealogy, advocate of the relational database; amateur sleuth and architect. For any research questions, email Lisa.