Plaque Unveiling Today in Ladywell (2.30 14.10.15)

Housing for Women Property Found to be Located on a Historically Significant Site

1820s engraving by Henry Warren from Lithographic illustrations of the Ravensbourne.

Housing for Women’s Lister House, Ladywell, has been found to be located within feet of a significant historical well, after which the area of Ladywell gets its name. Housing for Women is working with the Ladywell Society to mount a plaque to celebrate the historical importance of the location.

The Ladywell Society was established in 1984 when the historian Robert Smith came upon records suggesting that the area of Ladywell was the place where a spring came through the ground in 1472. At this time water was regarded with great reverence and the site consequently became an important spiritual location.

Site before Lister House was built

In 1472 Ladywell was merely a small settlement of huts located close to the village of Lewisham, but the existence of the well made it a significant site for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, and is also said to have been visited by Queen Elizabeth the 1st. In 1855 the well dried up due to the construction of a local sewer, and its existence was soon forgotten.

Since 1984 the Ladywell Society has been working hard to ensure that the site is given the recognition that it deserves. The exact location of the well was finally traced to within a few feet of Housing for Women’s Lister House. The Ladywell Society, after receiving funding from the Lewisham Locality Fund, have created a plaque to mark this location and Housing for Women have agreed to have this plaque mounted Lister House.

Lister House, with an arrow showing where the plaque will sit

An official unveiling of the plaque is due to occur at Lister House (Railway Terrace, SE13 7XH) at 2:30pm on Wednesday. All are welcome to attend. This will be followed by a presentation by the local historian and founder of the Society, Robert Smith in St Mary’s Church, Lewisham, from 7:30-8:30pm on Wednesday 14th October. This presentation will give further details of the history of the well. All are welcome to attend what promises to be a very interesting and informative evening.