Author Topic: Water Supplies to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey  (Read 168 times)

Offline John Walker

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Re: Water Supplies to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2021, 08:30:21 PM »
How old do I feel. I was part of the team that excavated the St Augustine's Conduit House (JohnWalkers second pic) and now it passing into the realms of historical monuments.


I went there a few weeks ago.  The area is in need of some serious TLC.  So overgrown that it's now difficult to get a good view of the conduit.  :(

Offline John Walker

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Re: Water Supplies to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2021, 08:27:51 PM »
Many thanks for your detailed explanation CAT.  I guessed you would have the full story.  Very enlightening.


There are numerous springs that come from the raised land at the eastern end of the city.  As well as the ones that supplied the cathedral and St Augustines, three others supplied streams that were my main play areas as a nipper in the 50s.  I'll enlarge in a separate thread.

Offline CAT

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Re: Water Supplies to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2021, 03:07:25 PM »
JohnWalker's first pic is indeed the Cathedral Water Tower, commonly known as 'The Baptistry', but should be called The Lavatory Tower. Dating from the early - mid twelfth century, only its lower half in unaltered, having originally had a rood above with up to eight water spouts for eight monks to wash at any one time. Dating from before 1165, it is shown on a contemporary map of the cathedral and precincts known as Prior Wibert's Waterworks Plan and was fed by natural springs beyond the walls of Canterbury, all of which is shown on the coloured map. This hydraulic system allowed water to run through pipework (mostly lead) to the tower after which it would be used to clean the necessarium, or reredorter (toilets) of the monastery. It would then flow into the Great Drain upon which it exited the city walls and into the City ditch.   

Offline CAT

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Re: Water Supplies to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2021, 02:38:54 PM »
How old do I feel. I was part of the team that excavated the St Augustine's Conduit House (JohnWalkers second pic) and now it passing into the realms of historical monuments.

Offline Invicta Alec

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Re: Water Supplies to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 01:27:58 PM »
We all use the expression "You are never too old to learn".


Thank you for this little post John. Nice photos and I've definitely learned something!


Alec.


Offline John Walker

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Water Supplies to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2021, 10:40:36 PM »
I'm not sure if this has been covered on the forum before but I'm sure other members will be able to furnish more detail.


There are two historical conduits in Canterbury.


The first one is from springs which emanate in an area known as The Old Park.  The water was collected in a conduit house at the top of Military Road and ran in a lead pipe to the cathedral.  It was then stored in a tank in a cistern tower (Photo) which still exists but is now a chapel.


The other conduit also collected water from springs in another area of The Old Park.  The Conduit House (Photo)  is still largely intact but minus it's roof and can be easily viewed.  Again a lead pipe was used to transfer the water, this time to St Augustines Abbey.