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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Geology Site Account

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St Chad's Well (site of), CHADWELL HEATH, London Borough of Redbridge, TQ471896, Historical site only

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Historical site only

Chadwell Heath was named after St. Chad’s Well which formerly existed in Billett Road. The well or spring is clearly very ancient and the water was originally thought to have medicinal properties. Christy and Thresh in their book A History of the Mineral Waters and Medicinal Springs of Essex (1910) report that the well was at one time 'much resorted to by persons of weak eyesight, for the special properties of the water were supposed to be beneficial to the eyes'. Photographs of the well from the early 20th century show the well protected by an alcove of brickwork which may have been built as long ago as the eighteenth century. The water no doubt came from Thames terrace gravel at its junction with the London Clay.

Unfortunately all trace of the well was swept away during twentieth century road widening but a brick pillar, with a bronze plaque, marks the spot which is on the south side of the road, next to the pavement, a dozen or so yards along from 62, Billet Road. The plaque was placed here in 1951 by the Borough Council to commemorate the Festival of Britain. Apparently a replica of the well has been built by local scouts in the grounds of St. Chad’s Parish Church in St. Chad’s Road.



St. Chad’s Well in 1907. The photograph was taken by Alfred Wire, an amateur geologist and founder member of the Essex Field Club. Photo: Vestry House Museum (London Borough of Waltham Forest).

 

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Reference: Christy & Thresh 1910 (p.51-53), Cowell & Cowell 2001 (p.66-67).

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