Friday 9 May 2008

Those Civil War trusts that are still going strong

The Hampstead Wells and Campden Trust is one of the longer serving features of the local landscape and it occurs in lots of forms in NW3 - street names, landmarks, geographical facets and of course good old plain history...

The Trust in its present form dates only from 1971, origins were in 1698 when the Earl of Gainsborough gave six acres of land for the perpetual benefit of the poor of the Parish of Hampstead.

This became known as the Wells Charity taking its name from the Chalybeate Well (still visible in Well Walk opposite Gainsborough Gardens) built by the Earl of Gainsborough to commemorate the bequest.

In 1880 the Wells and Campden Charity was established.

The origins of the Campden Charity date back to the early days of the English Civil War when Lady Campden (a member of the Gainsborough family) made a bequest of £200, which together with two further bequests totalled £250.

There was also the bath house that is still remembered in use by many local residents - I think it closed in the 60's and the local area has a range of street names associated.
The Trust is still active today (the plaque above is from the front door of their office on Hampstead High Street) and it's website details it's mission:
a) To help persons who are sick convalescent, disabled, handicapped or infirm;

b) To help either generally or individually persons who are in need, who suffer hardship or distress;

c) To assist organisations or institutions providing services or facilities which help relieve need or distress.

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