Shepherd’s Well

Water well in/near Belsize Park, existing until the 1880s

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Water well · * · NW3 ·
August
17
2015

Shepherd’s Well, whose flow was thought to be nearly as pure as distilled water, is the source of the River Tyburn.

Also known as The Conduit, the well provided a source of good quality soft drinking water for the residents of Hampstead. The walk to the nearest road meant that well carriers sold water by the pail or two pails because of the yoke needed for carrying the water. The spring never froze and only vary rarely ran dry.

There was an arch over the conduit, and rails stood round it.

At the close of the 1700s Lord Loughborough, its landwoner, tried to stop locals from obtaining the water, by enclosing the well. So great was the popular indignation, that an appeal was made to the Courts of Law, when a decision was given in the people’s favour, and so the well remained in constant use until well into the nineteenth century.

Hone’s Table Book, in the nineteenth century, writes the following about Shepherd’s Well:

The arch, embedded above and around by the green turf, forms a conduit-head to a beautiful spring; the specific gravity of the fluid, which yields several tons a day, is little more than that of distilled water. Hampstead abounds in other springs, but they are mostly impregnated with mineral substances. The water of ’Shepherd’s Well,’ therefore, is in continual request; and those who cannot otherwise obtain it are supplied through a few of the villagers, who make a scanty living by carrying it to houses for a penny a pailful. There is no carriage-way to the spot, and these poor things have much hard work for a very little money. .... The chief inconvenience of habitations in this delightful village is the inadequate distribution of good water. Occasional visitants, for the sake of health, frequently sustain considerable injury by the insalubrity of private springs, and charge upon the fluid they breathe the mischief they derive from the fluid they drink. The localities of the place afford almost every variety of aspect and temperature that invalids require; and a constant sufficiency of wholesome water might be easily obtained by a few simple arrangements.

Once Hampstead became supplied by the New River Company the conduit became neglected - a small swamp. Railway tunneling under Hampstead diverted the waters away and finally streets and houses were built over the site.

A plaque on the corner of Fitzjohn’s Avenue and Lyndhurst Road marks the position of the well or close to it as its exact position is in the middle of the Road.


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


Comment
The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Mar 2021 14:30 GMT   

Kilburn Park - opened 1915
Kilburn Park station was opened at the height of the First World War

Reply
Comment
The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Mar 2021 14:49 GMT   

A bit of a lift....
Kilburn Park was the first station to be designed around escalators, rather than lifts.

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James Preston   
Added: 28 Apr 2021 09:06 GMT   

School
Was this the location of Rosslyn House prep school? I have a photograph of the Rosslyn House cricket team dated 1910 which features my grandfather (Alan Westbury Preston). He would have been 12 years old at the time. All the boys on the photo have been named. If this is the location of the school then it appears that the date of demolition is incorrect.

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Comment
Graham Margetson   
Added: 9 Feb 2021 14:33 GMT   

I lived at 4 Arkwright Road before it was the school
My parents lived at 4 Arkwright Road. Mrs Goodwin actually owned the house and my parents rented rooms from her.


Reply
Lived here
Cassandra Green   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 14:34 GMT   

Rudall Crescent, NW3 (- 1999)
I lived at 2 Rudall Crescent until myself and my family moved out in 1999. I once met a lady in a art fair up the road who was selling old photos of the area and was very knowledgeable about the area history, collecting photos over the years. She told me that before the current houses were built, there was a large manor house , enclosed by a large area of land. She told me there had been a fire there. Im trying to piece together the story and find out what was on the land before the crescent was built. This website is very interesting.

Reply
Lived here
   
Added: 10 Dec 2020 23:51 GMT   

Wellgarth Road, NW11
I lived at 15 Wellgarth Road with my parents and family from 1956 until I left home in the 70s and continued to visit my mother there until she moved in the early 80s. On the first day we moved in we kids raced around the garden and immediately discovered an air raid shelter that ran right underneath the house which I assume was added in the run-up to WW2. There was a basement room with its own entrance off the garden and right opposite where the air raid shelter emerged. In no time at all up high near the ceiling of this room, we discovered a door which, while we were little enough, we could enter by standing on some item of furniture, haul ourselves in and hide from the grownups. That room was soundproof enough for us kids to make a racket if we wanted to. But not too loud if my dad was playing billiards in the amazing wood-panelled room immediately above. We had no idea that we were living in such an historical building. To us it was just fun - and home!

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

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old lady   
Added: 19 Jul 2021 11:58 GMT   

mis information
Cheltenham road was originally
Hall road not Hill rd
original street name printed on house still standing

Reply
Comment
Patricia Bridges   
Added: 19 Jul 2021 10:57 GMT   

Lancefield Coachworks
My grandfather Tom Murray worked here

Reply
Lived here
Former Philbeach Gardens Resident   
Added: 14 Jul 2021 00:44 GMT   

Philbeach Gardens Resident (Al Stewart)
Al Stewart, who had huts in the 70s with the sings ’Year of the Cat’ and ’On The Borders’, lived in Philbeach Gdns for a while and referenced Earl’s Court in a couple of his songs.
I lived in Philbeach Gardens from a child until my late teens. For a few years, on one evening in the midst of Summer, you could hear Al Stewart songs ringing out across Philbeach Gardens, particularly from his album ’Time Passages". I don’t think Al was living there at the time but perhaps he came back to see some pals. Or perhaps the broadcasters were just his fans,like me.
Either way, it was a wonderful treat to hear!

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Lived here
David James Bloomfield   
Added: 13 Jul 2021 11:54 GMT   

Hurstway Street, W10
Jimmy Bloomfield who played for Arsenal in the 1950s was brought up on this street. He was a QPR supporter as a child, as many locals would be at the time, as a teen he was rejected by them as being too small. They’d made a mistake

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Comment
Added: 6 Jul 2021 05:38 GMT   

Wren Road in the 1950s and 60s
Living in Grove Lane I knew Wren Road; my grandfather’s bank, Lloyds, was on the corner; the Scout District had their office in the Congregational Church and the entrance to the back of the Police station with the stables and horses was off it. Now very changed - smile.

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fariba   
Added: 28 Jun 2021 00:48 GMT   

Tower Bridge Business Complex, S
need for my coursework

Source: university

Reply
Lived here
Kim Johnson   
Added: 24 Jun 2021 19:17 GMT   

Limehouse Causeway (1908)
My great grandparents were the first to live in 15 Tomlins Terrace, then my grandparents and parents after marriage. I spent the first two years of my life there. My nan and her family lived at number 13 Tomlins Terrace. My maternal grandmother lived in Maroon house, Blount Street with my uncle. Nan, my mum and her brothers were bombed out three times during the war.

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Comment
Peter H Davies   
Added: 17 Jun 2021 09:33 GMT   

Ethelburga Estate
The Ethelburga Estate - named after Ethelburga Road - was an LCC development dating between 1963–65. According to the Wikipedia, it has a "pleasant knitting together of a series of internal squares". I have to add that it’s extremely dull :)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
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Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel The Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel is a place of worship and a member of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, the umbrella organisation for British Unitarians.
Rosslyn House Rosslyn (Roslyn) House, which stood between Wedderburn and Lyndhurst Roads, was one of the last of the famous old Hampstead houses to be destroyed.
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NEARBY PUBS
King William IV This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Secrets This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Wetherspoons This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


Belsize Park

The Manor of Belsize dates back to 1317, with the name is derived from French bel assis meaning 'well situated'.

Belsize Manor was built by Daniel O'Neill for his wife, the Countess of Chesterfield, in the 17th century. Urbanisation took place largely between 1852 and 1878, by which time it extended to Haverstock Hill. After World War I, the construction of blocks of flats began, and now a great many of the larger houses are also converted into flats.

Belsize Park underground station was opened on 22 June 1907 by the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway as an intermediate station on its line from Charing Cross to Hampstead. It is served by three lifts and there are 219 steps. The station was designed by Leslie Green and has his familiar facade of ox-blood faience with four round arched windows. It remained largely untouched until the late 1980s when the lifts were replaced and a new ticketing system installed.

It was during the 1930s that Belsize Park contributed most to the artistic and intellectual life of Hampstead. Artists associated with the Mall studios included Dame Barbara Hepworth from 1927 to 1939, her first husband John Skeaping and second Ben Nicholson from 1931 to 1939, and Henry Moore, who lived at no. 11A Parkhill Road from 1929 to 1940. They were members of Unit One, a group of artists and architects founded in 1933 by Paul Nash (1889-1946), who lived at no. 3 Eldon Grove from 1936 to 1939. Sir Herbert Read, the poet and art critic, who lived in 1934-5 at the Mall studios, which he described as a 'nest of gentle artists', published the group's manifesto, a theory of modern style.

Another centre was no. 37 Belsize Park Gardens, meeting place of MARS, an architectural group, and home of Jack Pritchard, who founded Isokon, a firm making modern furniture designed by people like Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, refugees who brought a European dimension to the abstract design movement in the arts. Others included Piet Mondrian, the Dutch painter, who stayed with the Pritchards before moving to no. 60 Parkhill Road (1938-41). Pritchard also commissioned Wells Coates in 1934 to build the Isokon or Lawn Road flats, partly to house artistic refugees, on a site which he owned. Built in concrete in a functional style, the flats came to be recognized as 'a milestone in the introduction of the modern idiom into London'.

In World War II, a large underground air-raid shelter was built here and its entrance can still be seen near the tube station at Downside Crescent. The area on Haverstock Hill north of Belsize Park underground station up to Hampstead Town Hall and including part of a primary school near the Royal Free Hospital was heavily bombed.

Belsize Park these days is a lively area with many restaurants, pubs and cafés along Haverstock Hill and also England's Lane.

Glossary: A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, edited by C R Elrington.



LOCAL PHOTOS
Swiss Cottage
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Victorian house under construction
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Meadowland with buttercups and daisies
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Belsize Avenue in Belsize Park
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Church Row, NW3
TUM image id: 1546470373
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Holly Walk, NW3
TUM image id: 1455451397
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Frognal, NW3
Credit: Google Maps
TUM image id: 1557403884
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In the neighbourhood...

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Victorian house under construction
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Meadowland with buttercups and daisies
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At Hampstead Heath station, a Stratford bound Overground train emerges from Hampstead Tunnel - the other end of the tunnel can be seen behind the oncoming train.
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Soldier’s Daughters Home from the "Illustrated London News", June 19, 1858
Credit: The Illustrated London News
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Broadhurst Gardens in West Hampstead, photographed here in 2009, was home to Decca Studios. From the late 1870s building had spread on Spencer Maryon Wilson’s lands. Near the Metropolitan railway line was Broadhurst Gardens, where 116 houses were built between 1882 and 1894.
Credit: Geograph/Christine Matthews
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Church Row, NW3
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Holly Walk, NW3
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St Johns Court (built 1938)
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Frognal, NW3
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College Crescent
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