Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Nathaniel Hodges and the purging wells of Shooter’s Hill

By
John D. Mather
John D. Mather
Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Christopher J. Duffin
Christopher J. Duffin
Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK146 Church Hill Road, Cheam, Sutton, Surrey SM3 8NF, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract:

In around 1670 purging mineral waters were discovered on the western slopes of Shooter’s Hill near Woolwich, to the east of London. They were promoted through an anonymous broadsheet, a single copy of which is held by the British Library. The probable author of this has been identified as Nathaniel Hodges, a physician who remained in London treating the sick during the plague year of 1665. Epsom Salts were produced at Shooter’s Hill around 1700 and undercut in price those from Epsom and Acton to the west of London. The waters continued to be used by local people for the following 200 years but never achieved national fame, and the source had disappeared by the 1920s. The waters were derived from thin sandy horizons within the London Clay Formation and were characterized by high concentrations of Mg and SO4. The mineralogy of the clays suggests that pyrite oxidation in the weathered zone forms acid solutions leading to the dissolution of carbonates, particularly dolomite. Varying concentrations of dolomite account for variations in the Mg content of London Clay groundwaters and for the distribution of a number of historic purging waters around London.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Geology and Medicine: Historical Connections

C.J. Duffin
C.J. Duffin
Search for other works by this author on:
C. Gardner-Thorpe
C. Gardner-Thorpe
Search for other works by this author on:
R. T. J. Moody
R. T. J. Moody
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
452
ISBN electronic:
9781786203335
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

GeoRef

References

Related

A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now