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Thread: Coombe Conduit, April 2010

  1. #1
    Join Date
    July 2008

    Default Coombe Conduit, April 2010

    Coombe Conduit was part of a very ingenious waterworks system built by Cardinal Wolsey to supply fresh drinking waters from the clean and pleasant springs of West Wimbledon to Hapmton Court Palace. Its owned by English Heritage now, but they only let anyone in a couple of times a year as bits of it keep collapsing. There were originally three conduits designed to supply water from springs down Kingston Hill to the Palace three miles away - these were Coombe, Ivy and Gallows Conduits (Ivy is opened up once in a blue moon because of the extent of damage to it and Gallows is in private ownership.) The conduit consisted of two conduit houses where water collected, connected by an underground passage. A number of tunnels then ran into the conduits and down Kingston Hill to the Palace. The water in the conduits is phenomenally clear which is a testament to the purity of the water and the ingenuity of the Elizabethan engineering used to build the place.

    The front conduit building

    Inside the front conduit building

    The underground passage

    The rear Conduit building - here there is one central chamber, at the end of the passage and two chambers off it. In one of these the original feeder tunnel is visible, which presumably meant that this room was another collection pool.

    On the surface, there was originally a building which presumably sat over the central chamber but this is now derelict and a plastic roof has been put in.

    The guy who opened up for me told me that during WW2 the underground passage had been used as a rifle range (presumably the narrowness of the passage promoted accuracy!) and sure enough there were bullet holes in the back wall!
    Enjoy the pics - all comments welcome and more at


    Last edited by godzilla73; 16th Apr 10 at 08:50.
    "You never planned on the bombs in the sand/Or sleeping in your dress blues."

  2. Thanks given by: Kaputnik, night crawler, oldscrote, RichardH, the_historian
  4. #2
    Join Date
    January 2009
    North Berkshire.


    That was good, I liked that.:)
    May the shadow of Murphy never darken your door."

    Forgotten Fairmile
    Spuds Rural Explorations
    The Church explorer

  5. Thanks given by: godzilla73
  6. #3
    Join Date
    January 2007
    East Devon's Jurassic Park!


    Lovely to see the Elizabethan architectural style on the doors and windows inside. Tis a beautiful piece of work.
    Cheers, Godzy. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.

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  7. Thanks given by: godzilla73

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DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
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