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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User unknown/public domain
6 Ellerdale Road 6 Ellerdale Road is a house built by the Arts and Crafts movement architect Richard Norman Shaw for himself in the period 1874 to 1876. Frognal Bridge Where Frognal meets the Finchley Road, there is an indiscernible dip... Hampstead Town This article first appeared in ’A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington’. Hampstead tunnel Hampstead Tunnel, 1166 yards long, was built as part of the Hampstead Junction Railway, and opened on 2 January 1860. Piecemeal building The infant River Westbourne crossed, what in 1900, was still a boggy field. River Westbourne The easternmost branch of the River Westbourne rises just south of the centre of Hampstead, 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. Shepherd’s Well Shepherd’s Well, whose flow was thought to be nearly as pure as distilled water, is the source of the River Tyburn. St John, Hampstead St John-at-Hampstead is a Church of England parish church dedicated to St John the Evangelist. St Stephen’s Church St. Stephen’s is a former church building, sited on Rosslyn Hill at its junction with Pond Street, a steep slope adjacent to the Royal Free Hospital. The Royal School, Hampstead The Royal School, Hampstead, was an independent girls’ day and boarding school. The school educated girls aged 3-16. Two streams meet Somewhere beneath the basement of 16 Frognal, NW3 two tributaries of the River Westbourne meet. University College School University College School, generally known as UCS, is an independent school charity situated in northwest London. Baynes Mews, NW3 Baynes Mews is a mews within the conservation area of Belsize Park. Belsize Lane, NW3 Belsize Lane is a thoroughfare linking Rosslyn Hill with Swiss Cottage. Frognal Parade, NW3 Frognal Parade is a parade of shops lying beyond Finchley Road and Frognal station. Frognal, NW3 A road called Frognal runs from Church Row in Hampstead downhill to Finchley Road and follows the course of a stream which goes on to form the River Westbourne. McCrone Mews, NW3 McCrone Mews is a mews - formerly the location of a depot of the London Parcel Delivery Company. Prince Arthur Road, NW3 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and son of Queen Victoria opened a home for sailor’s daughters in the area in 1869. Rosslyn Hill, NW3 Rosslyn Hill is a road connecting the south end of Hampstead High Street to the north end of Haverstock Hill.
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.