Ladywell is a small district of South East London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham between Brockley, Crofton Park and Lewisham. It has a good provision of green space including Ladywell Fields and Hilly Fields which borders Brockley. The main high street is called Ladywell Road, and in 2013 was given a face lift with £800,000 of Transport for London funding. The pavements were widened, short stay bays created to help local businesses and shoppers, and trees were added. Ladywell Village has a range of retail outlets including a number of cafes, a patisserie and a delicatessen.
The name Ladywell was in use by the 15th century, and maps dating to this period show the site of the original Ladywell, in front of the area later to be occupied by the Freemason's Arms (now 'Masons') and Ladywell railway station. The well was six to seven feet deep and surrounded by an iron railing. It is thought to have been dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was covered over in the mid-18th century as part of the construction of sewer works. The coping stones of this well were later uncovered during work to underpin the railway bridge, and rescued by a signalman. In 1896 they were incorporated as part of the fountain that stood in the grounds of the Ladywell Public Baths, a local landmark built in red brick in 1884.
Another well is located nearby at what is now 148 Ladywell Road. This was a mineral spring, the waters of which local people drank for medicinal purposes.
Much of the development of Ladywell occurred in the late-19th century following the opening of Ladywell railway station in 1857. The public park Ladywell Fields opened in the 1890s.
Ladywell House was the vicarage built in 1693 for Dean George Stanhope, the vicar of Lewisham and Deptford. Stanhope was a friend of the writer Jonathan Swift, Swift visited Ladywell House in 1711. The house was extended in 1881 and 1895, and is now used by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
In recent years there has been controversy over Lewisham Council's decision to close the Ladywell Swimming Pool and Sports Centre to build a school. Many local residents feel that a school is not needed in this part of Lewisham, that it will increase already high levels of congestion and that closing the pool many years before building a new one will deprive the area of healthy leisure facilities. This controversy led to the area electing Green Party councillors to all of its three council ward seats, although all three were lost to Labour in 2010 and although, in turn, one of Labour's councillors has since resigned, forcing a byelection. The Labour candidate again beat the Greens into second place.
- Birthplace of Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.
- Burial place of Ernest Dowson poet and decadent buried at Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries
- Henry Williamson, author most notably of Tarka the Otter brought up in Ladywell. No 21 Eastern Rd has a blue plaque to commemorate that he lived there
Other close stations:
|Honor Oak||Catford||Hither Green|
- Bradford, Charles Angell, The Lady Well, Lewisham (1896)
- (2011 reprint) British Library, Historical Print Editions, ISBN 9781241317676
- A Ladywell Walk london-footprints.co.uk
- George Stanhope, and Moll Stanhope Jonathan Swift's 1710-1713 London letter-journal. Swiftiana
- Journal to Stella, Letter 26 Chelsea, June 30, 1711, point 14.
- Foord, Alfred Stanley (1910), Springs, streams and spas of London: history and association. T. Fisher Unwin.