The name Ashwell comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Aescewellan’, “aesc” meaning ash, “wellan” meaning well or spring.
The water which rises from Ashwell Springs feeds the River Rhee,
one of the main sources of the River Cam, which passes through the
centre of Cambridge. At Ely the River Cam joins the River Ouse and
flows out to sea at the Wash, 65 miles from Ashwell.
This clean water rises from several holes in the natural chalk
surrounding Ashwell village. The average flow is one and a third
million gallons a day (1,300,000 gallons), falling to less than a
million in September and October depending on the drought of the
previous summers. It is at its highest level in March and April.
The natural rate of flow is now affected by the local Water
Authority’s pumping station at Slip End on the other side of Claybush
Hill – south of Ashwell close to the A505 Letchworth to Royston road
This clean, mineral spring water is never more than 52°F