Poet's Corner on The New River
Great Amwell is about twenty miles north of London, and was once the source of much of its water, for the New River begins here, taken for the well that gives the village its name, and conveyed by channels and pipes towards the city. The New River, which still flows south, is celebrated in a standing museum exhibit in the village.
The East India College was founded here in 1806, for the education of young men intended for the civil service of the East India Company in India. It is now a public school; Haileybury College.
On a hill above the church is an ancient mound, the remains of a fortification; and in Barrow field, on the road to Hertford, is a large barrow.
|The parish church is dedicated to St John the Baptist.
Great Amwell has been the residence of some celebrated literary characters, among whom are:
Also buried here in 1978 was Harold Abrahams, the Olympian who was depicted in Chariots of Fire.
Richard Warren (d 1628) a passenger on the Mayflower in 1620, who settled in Plymouth Colony and co-signed the Mayflower Compact, married on April 14, 1610 at St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, Great Amwell, Elizabeth Walker, daughter of Augustine Walker. Richard and Elizabeth are the ancestors of two US Presidents, Ulysses S Grant and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The New River
- Main article: New River
The New River is an artificial waterway; a Jacobean scheme created to supply fresh water to London. It was opened in 1613, taking its water from the River Lea and from Amwell Springs (the latter however ceased to flow by the end of the 19th century), and other springs and wells along its course.
The New River head today is in fact above Great Amwell, taken off the Lea between Hertford and Ware, but Amwell is its foundation and a little museum is found here telling the story of the project. A delightful memorial stone stands by the river too, with the legend:
AMWELL perpetual be thy Stream
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Great Amwell)
- Amwell (A Guide to Old Hertfordshire)
- A Brief History of Hertford Heath based on a note written by Esme Nix of Rush Green and describing Little Amwell
- Guide to the Waterways 1 London,Grand Union,Oxford&Lee Published by Nicholson & Ordnance Survey (1997) p.104 ISBN 0-7028-3296-0 Retrieved 4 January 2008