February 1st, 2012
On my Lubetkin visit to the capital last year, across the road from LSE Rosebury Hall where I was staying, I noticed this magnificent building, origin unknown to me until serendipity played a hand while going through some old Look and Learn magazines from the 1960s I came across this article (large graphic) showing it to have been the headquarters of the Metropolitan Water Board.
It is a most attractive building with a fully glazed staircase and now private flats according to the landlord of the Shakespeare’s Head next door. Well worth a look if you’re up that way or visiting Sadler’s Wells next door.
1938 Grade 2 listed – former Laboratory Building
Not so New
Made by man
The New River is unique, for it is man-made.
In 1609, Hugh Myddleton tackled the problem of providing a new water supply to meet the growing needs of London by building the channel known as the New River to conduct water from springs at Chadwell, near Great Amwell, to London – a distance of 40 miles.
On 29th September, 1613, the first water flowed into the Round Pond at New River Head, from which it was distributed to the city.
Later, to supplement the supply, water was taken from other springs and the nearby River Lee.
In 1946, the filter beds at New River Head were closed and the river terminated at Stoke Newington (24 miles), but it still supplies much water to London.
Very appropriately, the site of the Round Pond is now occupied by the Head Office of the Metropolitan Water Board.
IPC Magazines Ltd 1969 Look & Learn
A walk alongside the New River:-
Read the last page of the pdf for more information about the site shown above.
More photos here from Flickr:-
From Jane Harvey (in the comments below)
My parents both worked in this Laboratory building, my father all his working life until retirement in 1968, my mother from 1954 as housekeeper until 1968. I lived there with them and my brother until my marriage in 1962, I was married from there and my wedding reception was held in the Directors dining room in the main building.
My memories of the building, the people working there, and the home our family shared are all extremely happy ones. It is good to know the building still stands and now provides homes for many other families. I wish them all happiness.