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Springwell

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone,
I thought I would add information about the two springs in London that I would recommend. They are, to my knowledge, the only two working ancient springs left in the capital (with one possible exception that I will explain later). They are both in south London.

Caesar's Well in Wimbledon

The ancient well itself, which actually predates Caesar, has now dried up however, a boring was made downhill from the well, where the water flows out from a standpipe, and into a large cistern. The water then drains down into a stream which flows down to the Beverley Brook which eventually feeds into the River Thames. I call it the Wimbledon Spring.
http://people.bath.ac.uk/liskmj/living-spring/sourcearchive/fs9/fs9jlh1.htm

If you are walking to the spring from Wimbledon High Street, head towards the Common and take the straight path to the right of Rushmere Pond. You will come to Canizaro Road and you simply have to cross it and continue walking until you reach Camp Road (you'll see a pink house on the right side before the Fox & Grapes Pub). Walk along Camp Road until you reach the beginning of the golf courts. Then take the central path with a white gate, between the golf courts, called Sunset Road. Walk all the way to the end of this road and you will see a white cottage, called Springwell Cottage, to your right, and a small car park in front. The well and spring is ahead of this.

If you are driving or cycling, from the High Street, turn onto The Causeway and follow that and then head onto Camp Road and turn onto Sunset Road. You can park at the bottom and then continue on foot.

The most direct route is to take the path with the logs on the ground which is slightly to the right. Walk straight along this path and then turn left and keep going straight ahead. You will eventually reach a clearing with tall pine trees. The now undrinkable well is located in the middle. If you walk towards it and then downhill, you will reach the cistern where the spring water flows into (you should hear the water). This is the approximate location on Google Maps: 51°25'47.0"N 0°14'29.5"W.

I last visited on Monday 5th January and the water was flowing very fast and it is continous due to the water pressure. When I first visited last September, it was flowing much more slowly and at other times it just trickled out. I have read that it does dry up during the Summer. I can confirm this later in the year. When I went last year I took my tds meter and at the source it was 90 ppm with a temperature of 12°C. When I last went it was difficult to get an accurate reading due to the fast flowing water into the cistern basin (though it was about 64 ppm when I was able to place it near to the flowing water). The temperature was 11°C. Next time I visit, I will bring a cup and collect some water and then test it there by the spring.

I have attached two images I took of the spring. The first was taken on my initial visit last year and the second was taken this week which shows the flow of the water. Though the spring's current appearance is somewhat less than appealing, I assure you that the water is lovely and pure. The mud inside the cistern is due to dogs being placed, or climbing, into the cistern to drink and, or wash off the mud. I would previously stand inside to collect the water when it would trickle out. Regardless, this doesn't effect the water quality because it flows out from the pipe continously therefore dogs and people drinking straight from the spring is harmless (and refeshing!).

Attached Images
jpeg DSC_1098.jpg (2.82 MB, 45 views)
jpeg DSC_1295.jpg (3.23 MB, 44 views)


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'Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labour; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.'

Samuel Johnson, friend of Christopher Smart; poet.

Springwell

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #2 
Caesar's Well in Keston

Similar to its Wimbledon counterpart, this well is attributed to Caesar although it predates him. However, what makes this one different is that the well is still functional (and drinkable). The spring that fills the well flows down into the Keston Ponds and is the source of the River Ravensbourne.

I took the 320 bus from Lewisham to Keston (it's a long journey...) and I got off opposite the Keston Ponds park entrance. I was surprised and shocked to find the bus stop was located on a very unpedestrian road (there was no real pavement only a broken curb) however the park entrance was just across the road so off I went. There is a small car park and to the right of the entrance is a staircase. Down the stairs is where the well is located. I do not have any driving instructions, however I noticed this week that Caesar's Well in Keston is now marked on Google Maps. The well is below the fish ponds and the entrance closest is on Westerham Road. This is the reference on Google Maps where I placed a pin to mark the approximate location of the well: 51°21'27.7"N 0°02'14.2"E. I think it is quite accurate. (The well is now identified on Google Maps, which is helpful).

Though it is an ancient holy well, its current appearance would have you believe otherwise. The well is wide open and exposed so there are leaves that fall into it occasionally. It is quite shallow and there are pebbles at the bottom. Despite this, the water is sparkling clear and most importantly it is drinkable. It has a higher tds reading of 146 ppm (depending on where the tds is placed) due to its exposure, the peddles, leaves etc. I believe. If I remember correctly, the temperature was 12ºC. The water is a bit harder to collect as you have to skim the bottle across the water at times to fill it to capacity and avoid disturbing the particles/pebbles at the bottom. It is also cold to hold your hand in the water... The water tastes very pleasant and I think it does taste different to the Wimbledon Spring.

I will add that when I visit now, I collect water flowing out, from between the first and second steps in the direction of the first Fish Pond. It is not the easiest water to collect, due to the well's current layout.

I have attached two pictures of the well I took last Autumn. Though I believe the water to be fit for drinking, its appearance may be offputting. The only suggestion I have would be to filter the water at home and if there are any particulates in the water, they would be removed. If the Wimbledon Spring does dry up this Summer, I will be drinking from this well instead. I have been twice to collect water. Wimbledon is preferable to me because it is closer, however the lovely water is worth the trip.

Attached Images
jpeg DSC_1131.jpg (1.97 MB, 46 views)
jpeg DSC_1132.jpg (1.94 MB, 37 views)


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'Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labour; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.'

Samuel Johnson, friend of Christopher Smart; poet.

Liv ill

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
This post was very very helpful to me. I am awfully new to wanting to use spring water. This thread came up when I googled local spring followed by my postcode. I have been on Sunday and yesterday (and today is Wednesday.) On both days I tested the water, the ph was 4.5, ppm was 115 and temp about 13'c. I am really interested in the local spring and other drinkable and local springs so is this water good to drink? My heart tells me yes but then I feel a bit far fetched as it's very new to us... Thanks for the post and for reading this
Springwell

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #4 
In response to Liv's post above: yes, the water is good to drink. I have been drinking this water since September 2014, and it is still as clear, pure, and refreshing as it was on my first visit.

Since I started collecting water, I have met quite a few people who also drink the water and love it. However, if you are uncertain, you could simply filter the water at home.

I will add now that the spring in Wimbledon does unfortunately dry up in the Summer; from about June until October (as of 2015). This year, the water pressure has not been as great as it was in Winter 2014 and Spring 2015, so the flow has been much slower. I wonder if the water table is lower and the standpipe is not deep enough to access the water fully. The water flows continuously now, however, I doubt at this stage that it will flow as fast as it did last Spring.

__________________
'Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labour; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.'

Samuel Johnson, friend of Christopher Smart; poet.
Springwell

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 
When I first started this thread, in January of last year, I wrote that there was a possible exception. There is indeed a third working source of spring water that I know of in London. This time it in north London, on Hampstead Heath. I have visited the Goodison Fountain only once, due to its distance from my home, however, it was a worthwhile visit.

Goodison Fountain is different from the previous two I added because it is a Chalybeate (iron water) spring. The water has a distinct ferric taste, and there is copper staining around the fountain indicating the presence of the iron. Iron is necessary for healthy blood functioning, and Chalybeate springs were attributed to healing by our ancestors.

I believe there is a fairly good amount of iron in this water, so I think it is best to dilute the water with other spring water. Too high an iron consumption can cause abdominal discomfort because our bodies only have a small iron requirement. People are known, myself included, to have adverse reactions to taking iron supplements such as ferrous sulphate (which have 65 mg of iron in them usually) because our bodies on average can only absorb about 10% of these synthetic supplements, causing excess strain on the body to remove the unnessary iron... [Science lesson over].

These are the fountain's location coordinates: 51°34'11.0"N 0°09'45.6"W. The fountain is actually visible from the satelite view on Google Maps as it is located in a clearing.

The water is easy to collect because it flows directly out of the mouth of ??? and into a drain below.

Attached Images
jpeg DSC_1107.jpg (3.06 MB, 31 views)


__________________
'Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labour; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.'

Samuel Johnson, friend of Christopher Smart; poet.

Kiera

Junior Member
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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #6 
Hello, can you tell me if the Wimbledon spring is drinkable (did you test it?). I was unclear about which spring is ok to drink.
I have just got myself and my family on to spring water for a month and feel so much better [smile]
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