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Programme 2011/12 & 2012/13

Griffins Hole, Well Wood, Northaw Location


From Cuffley Ridgeway turn left into Well Road and a short distance along, before the bend, is a footpath on your left, this is the access point to Griffins Hole

Walk along the footpath for about 200 metres and you will arrive at the site

Background


The site was at the end of a public footpath which is only 200 metres long and does not lead to anything other than Griffins Hole. The track had been blocked for at least 20 years until a group of ramblers decided to start clearing it in January 2000. Once they had hacked through lots of trees, rhododendrons and other undergrowth they came across a water logged circular depression covered in plants and leaves with remnants of bricks around the edge.

Excavation


It was deiced to excavated the well, as it was thought it was at the time. After some effort a brick lined hole about 8' in diameter and 5'6" deep appeared. The base is concave brick and the side has two openings, one of which appears to be an overflow and the other, near the base, appears to be in intake and has pipe remains in it. The brick work is in good condition with the exception of the top couple of courses which have since been replaced. Having cleared the well it started performing its function and by the following morning the hole had completely filled with water.

Further clearance work around the path found the original boundary banks to the entrance way. By the size of them and distance apart the original access must have been a grand and busy affair.

Research


With the excavations and research Griffins Hole has now been found to be a small reservoir for water supply to the village of Northaw. Water was collected by individuals or water cart, hence the need for the width of the access path. At least one picture has been found showing the water carts delivering water from Griffins Hole to tanks located on Northaw Village green. Further work will be done to expand the information and to look into the pipe system that was installed to supplement the supply.

Current


The well has been excavated, the brickwork restored, the paths cleared and a protective cover put on.

Documentary References


1757 - Shown on a Northaw / North Mimms parish boundary

1806 - Northaw Enclosures Award Commissioners

Griffins Hole Spring - A Right of Carriageway for the parishioners of Northaw .... leading to a spring called Griffins Hole

1811 - A plan of the Manor of Northaw shows Griffins Hole, springs and conduits nearby

Workgroup


Jim Bailiff, Alan Johnson, Alan Motts, Hywel Morris


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Programme 2010/11 2009/10 Programme 2008/09 2007/08 Programme 2006/07 2005/06 Programme 2004/05 2003/04 Programme 2002/03 2001/02 Programme 2000/01 1999/00

Previous CIHS programmes by year

CIHS Griffin hole project