Geology Site Account
London Borough of Havering, ROMFORD, Havering Well, TQ516875
The hamlet of Havering Well, at what is now Roneo Corner, was apparently in existence as early as the 13th century and there was still a well here in the late 18th century when it was known as Hornchurch Lane Spring. In 1783 the water was described as ‘excellent’ and it was claimed that, if regularly used, was likely to retard the onset of gout. It was also said to do good in jaundice, rheumatism and scurvy. Other claims were also made, for example “Bread made from this light water must be excellent, and it deserves the regard of the frugal laundress, for she will use less soap in washing her linen with this than with common water”.
At the beginning of the 20th century its fame as a medicinal spring had clearly not been forgotten locally when it was claimed that the water was especially good as a cure for ‘sore eyes’. However, an analysis carried out in 1907 concluded that the water could not be regarded as possessing any special medicinal value. It was apparently an ordinary water, containing a fair amount of calcium sulphate which was no doubt derived from selenite (gypsum) crystals in the London Clay.
The water was issuing from the junction between the Thames terrace gravels and the underlying impervious London Clay. In the early 20th century there were a number of springs in the vicinity: an area of land at the rear of the former Roneo factory was said to be moist and full of springs.
The spring has now gone but it is commemorated by a plaque in a garden called ‘Havering Well Garden’.
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Reference: Christy & Thresh 1910 (p.47-48), Cowell & Cowell 2001 (p.62-63).
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