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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 662261

Hob Uid: 662261
Location :
Greater London Authority
Greenwich
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ3910077141
Summary : A system of underground tunnels, or conduits, designed to bring water from Blackheath to the buildings of the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich. Built between 1695 and 1710. It ceased to be used as a water supply in 1891, many conduit heads being demolished between 1850 and 1902. An RCHME survey of 1993-4 identified and recorded surviving elements of the system
More information : TQ 390 770: Conduits in Greenwich Park.

Recorded during the RCHME Greenwich Park Survey, Sep-1993 to Feb-1994.

A system of underground tunnels, or conduits, designed to bring water from Blackheath to the buildings of the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich.

At least three conduits are known to exist under Greenwich Park. From west to east they are the Hyde Vale conduit (TQ 37 NE 89), the conduits near Queen Elizabeth's Oak (TQ 37 NE 90) and that which ends at the conduit head beneath One Tree Hill (TQ 37 NE 88). The latter is now inaccessible.

The surviving conduits are broadly similar, both being brick tunnels large enough, or nearly large enough, for a person to walk upright. Their large size and elaborate construction caused Webster to doubt whether they were used to channel water and have spawned a series of misleading alternative interpretations, such as secret escape routes for the Tudor monarchy. In fact, there is little doubt that the conduits were designed to supply water - a survey carried out in 1695 was specifically established to assess the suitability of existing conduits for this purpose. The large size of the surviving tunnels was necessary to facilitate access for maintenance purposes.

A number of common features demonstrate the workings of the conduit system. Each conduit was designed to collect and channel water from the high ground on Blackheath to the foot of the Greenwich escarpment; thus, each system runs from south to north. The pattern is dendritic, several capillaries at the head of the system channelling water into a main artery.

For fully referenced details see the archive report.
See survey plans at 1:1000 scale archived with record TQ 37 NE 69 (UID 610590). (1)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : P Struth: RCHME: ROYAL PARKS PROJECT: Greenwich Park Survey, Sep-93 to Feb-94
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Source : Greenwich Park: an archaeological survey. Detailed reports for the NMR
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Source : Greenwich Park: an archaeological survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1695-1710
Monument End Date : 1710
Monument Start Date : 1695
Monument Type : Conduit
Evidence : Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Ceasde by 1902
Monument End Date : 1902
Monument Start Date : 1902
Monument Type : Conduit
Evidence : Subterranean Feature

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 37 NE 86
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 662267
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Associated Monuments : 404360
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Associated Monuments : 662264
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Associated Monuments : 662262
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Associated Monuments : 662265
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