The Springs

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Springs' page

Document typed by Jackie Embury from Miss Hislop's handwritten green book owned by Janet Chennells


A little way south-east of the Church is the special glory of Ashwell – the Springs , one source of the river Cam.

 A.C. Benson wrote of the Springs thus:

“The road, while still almost in the street passes across a little embankment, and on the left hand you look down into a pit like a quarry full of ash-trees, and with a thick undergrowth of bushes and tall plants.  From a dozen little excavations leap and bicker crystal rivulets of water hurrying down stony channels, uniting in a pool, and then moving off, a full-fed stream among quiet water-meadows.  It is one of the sources of the Cam.

The water is deliciously cool and clear, running as it does straight off the chalk.  No words of mine can do justice to the wonderful purity and peace of the place.  The two sights, the Church Tower and the well-head put my mind in tune, and I went on my way rejoicing.”

Ashwell Springs have always been famous for their fine water cress which used to be taken up to London for sale.  One of the old London Street cries was:  “Fine Ashwell Hed Water Cresse”

This page was added on 29/07/2011.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.