The well, dug to improve the public water supply in Lee Common, was started in 1896 and finished in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
It was commissioned by Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty, and was designed and built by Liberty’s craftsmen.
The well house is hexagonal, comprising five oak panels and an oak gate beneath a tiled roof. The panels each bear part of an inscription which in total reads:
This well was built by public subscription in commemoration of Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee Anno Domini MDCCCSCVII
The well, hand dug using candles for illumination and a pair of the local blacksmith’s bellows for forced ventilation, is 365 feet deep and 4 feet 6 inches in diameter. The cables, when removed, stretched from the well to the north-western end of the allotments. There were two counter acting buckets each 4 feet 6 inches high and containing 25 gallons of water; they were raised by means of the handle on the left.
The well was closed in the early 1950s due to rising pollution levels, but the quality of the water is still regularly checked by the local water authority (currently Affinity Water).
The Jubilee Well was made a Grade II listed building in 1986. It is now owned and maintained by The Lee Parish Council.