The name is probably derived from a well, now dry, in the grounds of the Old Nunnery. Legend has it that St. Tibba, or it may have been St. Ebba, in the 7th Century, had a dream. As a result of it she caused the well to be dug here, and with its water effected many remarkable cures.
A Nunnery was established here in 1160. The Poor Clares, an Order of Catholic Nuns, settled there sometime after 1286 and built their hospital around the well. Though King Henry VIII nominally suppressed the Order in 1534, the Sudrian interpretation of the Act secured that St. Tibba’s Hospital remained and expanded as need arose. Shortly before 1987, it was rebuilt on a new site and has deservedly the highest reputation of any hospital on the Island.
Wellsworth is a pleasant seaside town. The air here is reputedly pure and bracing. There is a Convalescent Home, and many doctors recommend a period spent here to patients suffering from respiratory ailments. The Fat Controller and his family live here in a mansion called Topham Hall, located on the outskirts of the town.
The line from Wellsworth to Brendam is one of Sodor's oldest and was built in 1870 as part of the Wellsworth and Suddery Railway, which was later extended to Knapford in 1912 to connect with other railways to become the North Western Railway. The station here is often called "Edward's Station", and is on the North Western Railway's Main Line and acts as the junction for the Brendam Branch Line. The express does not stop at Wellsworth, although it was once accidentally sent down the branch. The station is at the foot of Gordon's Hill and, as a result, can be subject to runaway goods trains when the engine has not pinned down brakes. The station has a large goods yard, as well as sheds for Edward and BoCo, who operate the branch line. A brakedown train is kept here.
In the Railway Series, arriving from Crosby, an engine goes under a road bridge and into the yard (seen in Edward and Gordon and Domeless Engines), then along the part of the yard where the turntable and sheds are located, under another road bridge, and into the station. Departing the station, the engine goes to Suddery Junction and onto Gordon's Hill.
It has made numerous appearances in The Railway Series and in every season of the television series except the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth seasons, though it was mentioned in some episodes from the former season.
- Wellsworth is likely named after Elsworth, where the Rev. W. Awdry was Rector between 1946-53. In merchandising it is occasionally misspelt as "Ellsworth".
- In the TV series, the express has commonly stopped at Wellsworth, however according to the Awdry writings, the express is not meant to stop at Wellsworth.
- In the eighteenth season episode Duck and the Slip Coaches, the station appeared to represent a station on the Great Western Railway in Duck's flashback.
- In both the PC game Railway Adventures and the eleventh season episode, Edward and the Mail, Wellsworth was referred to as a Post Depot. This idea seems to be carried onto the later seasons when it returned in CGI.
- Wellsworth station has had numerous modifications throughout the years:
- Seasons 1-12:
- The shunting yard's size and layout constantly changed.
- Season 2:
- The station pilot siding disappeared.
- Season 3 (only):
- The station gained an extra large shunting yard behind it.
- Day of the Diesels:
- The green metal road bridge nearby became larger and gained a new arch design.
- A red brick road bridge was added on the opposite side of the station.
- The shunting yard layout became one single siding with no more turntables.
- A large warehouse was added nearby.
- The tracks entering the station changed from straight to curved.
- Seasons 17-18:
- The asphalt in the yard was occasionally replaced with grass before becoming consistant the following season.
- Tale of the Brave:
- The road bridge now has rails running on it (although that may have been a goof).
- Seasons 1-12: