New River

New River bringing clean water to London

The New Gauge

The source of water at the beginning of the New River

The New River is man made, so not a river, and was completed in 1613, so not new.  It was built to bring clean drinking water from Hertfordshire to North London.

The source is the New Gauge on the River Lea in Hertfordshire and it flows above ground as far a Stoke Newington. There are footpaths for much of this distance although some stretches are closed. After Stoke Newington most of the distance is piped underground. There are still some ornamental waters and landmarks along the route.

As a child I can recall being taken to feed the ducks on the New River by my grandmother. One terrible day the bag of breadcrumbs was empty when we arrived. The bread had fallen through a hole in the bag and there was nothing for the ducks.  The disappointment still stings after more than 50 years. Of course, we now know that ducks should be given lettuce and seeds rather than white sliced so they were probably better off. For the last 10 years I’ve kept an office in Hoddesdon and park every day in sight of the New River.

There are some great descriptions of the various stages of the New River that have accessible paths on the net. I plan to photograph as much of it as I can over time to create better than average pictures. This is the first offering.