Most of all, The New Wells Epsom was a collection of shops and gathering venues based around a well which catered the much sought Epsom Waters and Epsom Salts to the high society of the 17th century.
Then, following the discovery of the mineral waters in 1618, Epsom quickly became a popular destination for the the restorative spa experience. Then brought many visitors requiring also the pleasures of high society recreation and meeting places.
Since, in 1692 there was a complex built by two London goldsmiths. And then they were the people who acquired land around the bowling green at the end of High Street and South Street. Also where the Assembly Rooms can now be found.
In 1699, a second well was sunk into the town. Then it was subsequently named ‘Symond’s Well’, after the land owner. As the well lay near the public house formerly named the Magpie. Then later it was renamed Symond’s Well in 1996 to commemorate the history of the area.
However, at the time the well was created, an apothecary and business man named John Livingstone moved to Epsom. Then, he was looking for business opportunities as he bought a number of properties in the area and named it The New Wells.
Then this complex of buildings provided a range of shops including a book shop, haberdashery for hats, picture shop, shoemaker, fishmonger and butcher. So, every day, the well advertised that morning and evening music was performed for free as people enjoyed taking the waters.
As well as providing the conveniences for visitors and residents’ shopping requirements, there was a bowling green, gardens. Also most importantly, a coffee house which was one of the few meeting places for people to mix and meet outside of the home.
The coffee house still stands today and can be seen now as the Albion Pub and Hotel. Also Livingstone’s New Wells was clearly very successful. So, the reason is because he gave some of his land on East Street bought with the profits to build Alms houses for poor widows.
The remaining Albion Public House continues to act as a gathering place for locals and visitors, although the rest of The New Wells has been absorbed into the heart of the town.
Finally, if you want further information about Epsom, please visit your Local Plumbing Epsom website homepage.
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