A Conduit House


This little building stands quite close to the church at a Wiltshire settlement called Bowden Hill.

It would be easy to think it was something to do with the church. Maybe it’s a charnel house or a bier house??

But it isn’t that and it is much older than the 19th century church in this little village.


The small building has a rather prosaic use. It’s called a conduit house and its job was to supply water.


The water was destined for Lacock Abbey, a couple of kilometres away and more than 100 metres lower than this conduit house.

It dates from around 1540 and replaced an earlier conduit house. Water has been sent to the abbey from here for at least 800 years – and it still serves its function, now, in the 21st century.

The Wiltshire history site at http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getimage.php?id=1875 tells us that,

 ‘The Conduit House was built by Sir William Sharington, in the mid-16th century, to replace a medieval conduit house over the water supply to Lacock Abbey. Water was first piped from Bowden Hill in the second half of the 13th century.’

The photos date from April 2014.


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3 Responses to “A Conduit House”

  1. Dominic Says:

    Wow. Thank you! I’ve driven past this many times and always just assumed it was related to the church! Thank you for doing the research I never did!! 🙂

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