Great and Little Leighs Spring, Great and Little Leighs, Essex, England


Posted: November 14, 2010

Category: England, Europe, View All

Cole Hill, (on the essex way trail), Great and Little Leighs
Essex, England
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Roadside spring, victorian / early 20th century style, easy access and place to park.

Nearest Address

Cole Hill, (on the essex way trail), Great and Little Leighs, Essex, UK.

Directions from Nearest Address

Near what is I believe Little Leighs church.

Vital Information

  • Fee: No Fee
  • Access: Public
  • Flow: Continuous
  • TDS: N/A
  • Temp: N/A
  • pH: N/A

Hours Spring is Open:



Map Link: Great and Little Leighs Spring Map

Submitted by: Adam

+Related Springs
  1. Lara says:

    I cant see when I look at google maps, would does it look like ?
    Or could you upload a picture.

  2. Ismail says:

    I was wondering if this is a spring or a well??

  3. Kt says:

    Is anyone drinking this water. Any good?

  4. Wendypointer says:

    Does anyone know if this water is safe to drink?

  5. Gurmit says:

    I found the spring and took a few photos, it was not easy to find as it is very easy to drive past. I had to knock on the closest door and ask the locals. They advised that travelers always come and fill up from the spring. I have not had the water tested but it looks very clear and tastes great. I drank plenty of it and was ok, even filled up 3 demijohns. I will get the water tested if I can find a comprehensive test that does not cost a fortune.
    The spring is on Cole Hill and marked with a post written “Essex Way”. You can see it in the photo but it does not show in the Google image picture.
    Cut and past the following into a web browser to see it in Google maps:,0.521454&num=1&sll=51.815817,0.522679&sspn=0.007138,0.006295&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=51.813692,0.521511&spn=0,0.001739&t=h&z=20&layer=c&cbll=51.81356,0.52142&panoid=fPXLGcNFoizdU3NcuvGxoA&cbp=12,142.18,,0,12.28

  6. Smudger5711 says:

    Hi thanks for shareing this cycled tsmehere today, very nice water thanks again James Chelmsford.

  7. Gurmit says:

    TDS = 401
    PH= 7.1

  8. Peter stewart says:

    I have been drinking this water for nearly a year now – I love it!
    I live in London and it is a 106 mile round trip.  Even with the high price of fuel, 90 one litre bottles work out at less than 20p/litre, and keeps me going for about 3 months.
    It is a beautiful experience to drive out into the countryside and feel totally in touch with nature.
    Great to be able to park right next to the spring, whilst filling up.

    • john says:

      Hi peter,
      that’s great to know. Can you tell me how you store your water for three months, in order to avoid algae growth and other organisms from multiplying ? Cheers

  9. Robb mcgeary says:

    Been going here for over a year, went today and a “do not drink” sign has been put up on the tree above it. Can anyone shed any info?
    Still filled up and been drinking it for over a week and feeling fine so im assuming its by someone who doesnt know any better – urgh, water from the ground, must be dirty!!!

    • Peter Stewart says:

      I visited this beautiful spring about a week after you and, also saw
      this sign. i decided to fill up and, then, do my internet research when
      I got home. I received this reply from the Parish Council:

      “Thank you for your visit. The sign was placed due to health
      & safety because the water has not been tested or passed for human
      consumption. Due to limited funds this parish council has not been in a
      position to pursue the testing. We do however have plans to tidy up the
      spring area.

      Thank you again, Jessica
      Great & Little Leighs Parish Council”

  10. Richard Doyle says:

    I too have been drinking from this spring for about 2 years – no ill effects so far, in fact I feel very well!! I also saw the sign on my last visit a few weeks ago and have been drinking the water since – all good. However, it would be nice to know officially that it is ‘safe, sound and wholesome’! I don’t know how much the tests cost but would imagine that there is enough interest to club together to have the tests done. I would certainly be prepared to contribute something towards it. Perhaps we could ask the Parish Council to ear mark a fund to test this spring for us?

    Any ideas?

    Richard Doyle

    • James Smith says:

      Hi i would be willing to help towards paying for a test aswell James.

      • Richard doyle says:

        Ok James, I’ll give the council a call during the week and see what the damage is likely to be and see what they can offer us in terms of a “joint venture”!

        • Wendy says:

          I wondered how this is going, the water testing? I’ve just found this website and would love to get some spring water on a regular basis. This is nearest to me, but on the map I see it’s in the heart of much farm land, and my first question was the quality of the water? Not just bacteria, but also if it could be polluted with farming chemicals? I wonder how this too could be tested. I’d like to hear what you find,

          • Richard Doyle says:

            Hello Wendy

            I have today telephoned the chelmsford council and been directed to Mr Tim Savage as the gentleman who may be able to help with our query. Unfortunately he is out of the office today and will call me back tomorrow (with a bit of luck). I’ll post the outcome of the conversation.


          • Richard Doyle says:


            Update – spoke to Tim Savage during the week. They have done a risk analysis and determined that the water is probably unsafe and therefore not worth testing further. The risk factors include the fact that the spring is near agricultural land and therefore may well be comtaminated with agricultural products (e.g. Pesticides and fertilisers). He also sites the fact that the concrete head and drainage arrangement is prone to contamination and cannot be easily treated e.g. with ultraviolet or other decontamination procedures in that location. He said that there may well be seasonal variation in the degree of contaiminnation – e.g worse during the winter. As a result he feels that it is likely that this water is safe and his department are not prepared to take the matter any further. He did say that if we wanted to have the water tested anyway, he was aware of a water testing lab in Braintree on the Springfield estate (?)
            Any thoughts??
            Kind regards, Richard

          • Wendy says:

            Hi Richard,

            thanks for the update… hmmm, shame we use such chemicals on our precious land… this was a concern for me. I would still like to get the tests done, i am now intrigued, and even if the water is ‘unsafe’, it would be good to know more. Just out of interest for now, perhaps you or i could contact this lab and find out the costs? I’ll also have a look on the web and see if there are any more. However, the seasonal variation you spoke of is on my mind also, if we did get it tested, then it makes sense to test again at a different time of year. This could be costly. You’ve been drinking it for a while now though, as have others, would be good to know don’t you think?


          • Richard doyle says:

            Hi Wendy

            Would be good to know (if risk assessment stacks up to a real concern and if so what the nature of the risk is?) So I agree that ideally it would be good to have the tests done and multiple times during the year if possible. If you have the time and inclination then please feel free to run with this. My windows of opportunity are limited so I can contribute albeit in an ad hoc way! I would certainly be prepared to contribute to the costs of tests.


          • Paul says:

            If its been raining heavily don’t drink from this fountain. I had a bit of a problem after drinking it, let’s just say it left me with my own fountain…hmm not good. However, when the weather was fine I had no ill effects and the water tasted great. I’m interested to hear test results when the well area isn’t flooded.

    • Richi says:

      Hi Richard, my family and I have been drinking this water for a month or so with great enjoyment. However today my parents visited the spring and reported back that the water was yellow and sludgey, have you never experienced this before?


  11. Ian says:

    The church is Great Leighs: St Mary the Virgin : BOREHAM ROAD, Great Leighs, Essex, CM3 1PP and the spring can be found three hundred yards downhill from the church

  12. Sam says:

    Hi, Just visited this spring for the first time. Was really impressed by it and thought it looked beautifully clean. We have a couple of bottles. Has anyone drunk from this spring recently as I notice its quite some time since the last post?

  13. George Pridmore says:

    did my first trip on friday before reading these comments.. anybody still drinking this? ? ?

    • Philip Witney says:

      This spring water is fine for drinking. I have tested it with a Watersafe kit and there is nothing nasty in it. Currently using it to make beer, and very good it is too.

  14. Philip Witney says:

    Okay I have long wanted to use spring water for my home brewing and have taken away a few gallons from the spring to see how it does. Using aWatersafe test kit I have obtained the following results:
    Lead – negative
    Total hardness-435ppm
    Total hardness 2.0ppm

    Assuming these test results are accurate, this water is good to use as is.
    Will start a brew with it tomorrow.

  15. Philip Witney says:

    This water is fine, I have tested it with a Watersafe kit and it is negative for anything nasty including pesticides.
    I use for mking beer and it is excellent.

  16. Beverley says:

    Could we please have an update on the water quality, the site and peoples experience of drinking the water? We’re the tests done and when?

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