by Tudor Roof Tiles
Tudor Roof Tiles is delighted to have it's Medium Antique roof tiles used during the restoration of Barnet Wellhouse.
Many thanks go to Barnet Museum & Local History Society for their choice of Tudor Roof Tiles.
Barnet Physic Well was discovered on the Barnet common during the 17th century. In 1656 the parish (who owned the well) had a well house built, and later in 1656 appointed a keeper. The well is a chalybeate spring and the effects of the water were to make the drinker urinate, which was thought at the time to help restore the body's humours back to their natural balance. So popular was the water that it was bottled and sold in London, and Barnet nearly became a spa town.
Pepys, the famous diarist, rode from London in 1664 "to see the Wells" he had a meal at the Red Lion and continued on "half a mile off; and there I drunk three glasses and went and walked, and came back and drunk two more. The woman would have had me drunk three more; but I could not, my belly being full - but this wrought me very well; and so we rode home... and my waters working at least seven or eight times upon the road, which pleased me well".
By the 1690s the well was less popular, with people helping themselves, and by 1724 Daniel Defoe wrote of the well was "formerly in great" but now "almost forgotten".
In 1808 the well was rebuilt with a subterranean arched chamber, and brought back into popular opinion by the writings of a doctor from Arkley called William Trinder. But again the well's popularity did not last, and the building was removed in 1840. The well was rediscovered in the 1920s, and in 1937 another well house was built in Well House Approach.
After falling into severe disrepair, Historic England and Barnet Museum undertook extensive refurbishment work to the wellhouse (see photos below). It was officially reopened by the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Reuben Thompstone, on 20 November 2018. The work was paid for by Barnet Council, Historic England and the Heritage of London Trust.