Eastern aqueduct and the water catchment area of a western aqueduct, at Netley Abbey


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008704

Date first listed: 10-Dec-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Eastern aqueduct and the water catchment area of a western aqueduct, at Netley Abbey
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008704 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2019 at 18:45:19.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: City of Southampton (Unitary Authority)

County: Hampshire

District: Eastleigh (District Authority)

Parish: Hound

National Grid Reference: SU 45670 09806, SU 45769 10054, SU 45895 10156


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

From the time of St Augustine's mission to re-establish Christianity in AD 597 to the reign of Henry VIII, monasticism formed an important facet of both religious and secular life in the British Isles. Settlements of religious communities, including monasteries, were built to house communities of monks, canons (priests), and sometimes lay-brothers, living a common life of religious observance under some form of systematic discipline. It is estimated from documentary evidence that over 700 monasteries were founded in England. These ranged in size from major communities with several hundred members to tiny establishments with a handful of brethren. They belonged to a wide variety of different religious orders, each with its own philosophy. As a result, they vary considerably in the detail of their appearance and layout, although all possess the basic elements of church, domestic accommodation for the community, and work buildings. Monasteries were inextricably woven into the fabric of medieval society, acting not only as centres of worship, learning and charity, but also, because of the vast landholdings of some orders, as centres of immense wealth and political influence. They were established in all parts of England, some in towns and others in the remotest of areas. Many monasteries acted as the foci of wide networks including parish churches, almshouses, hospitals, farming estates and tenant villages. Some 75 of these religious houses belonged to the Cistercian order founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th century. The Cistercians - or "white monks", on account of their undyed habits - led a harsher life than earlier monastic orders, believing in the virtue of a life of austerity, prayer and manual labour. Seeking seclusion, they founded their houses in wild and remote areas where they undertook major land improvement projects. Their communities were often very large and included many lay brethren who acted as ploughmen, dairymen, shepherds, carpenters and masons. The Cistercians' skills as farmers eventually made the order one of the richest and most influential. They were especially successful in the rural north of England where they concentrated on sheep farming. The Cistercians made a major contribution to many facets of medieval life and all of their monasteries which exhibit significant surviving archaeological remains are worthy of protection.

As an integral part of the surviving remains at Netley Abbey, the aqueducts and possible water catchment area around Tickleford Pond constitute important and unusual components, particularly as they survive well despite disturbance by modern development. Aqueducts of this date are rarely known from archaeological remains, and those at Netley, as part of a possibly unfinished water distribution system, give an insight into the planning and establishment of a Cistercian monastery, as well as the economy of its inhabitants.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument, which falls into three areas, includes the eastern and higher of two aqueduct channels running southwards through Tickleford Gully and the eastern edge of West Wood towards Netley Abbey, a Cistercian abbey founded in 1239. It also includes a possible water catchment area for the western aqueduct channel, the channel itself being the subject of a separate scheduling, in the area called Tickleford Pond. The eastern channel does not now reach the abbey precincts because of modern disturbance by gravel extraction and subsequent infill, but it is also possible that the aqueduct system was never completed. The channel, which is c.560m long overall, runs south westward along the eastern side of Tickleford Gully from c.80m north of the Southampton to Fareham railway line and into the eastern edge of West Wood; it is in three sections, separated by the railway line and Newtown Road. The channel starts in Tickleford Gully as a very shallow trench, gradually deepening as it extends southwards. The channel and western bank of the northernmost section are both up to 3m wide; the western bank is 0.6m high, while the eastern side of the trench is cut to a maximum depth of 1.7m below the much higher ground surface at that side. Between the railway and Newtown Road, the channel is up to 7m wide and 1.2m to 2m deep, with banks up to 5m wide on both sides. Further to the south the channel has narrower flanking banks, c.3m wide, but here the trench reaches its maximum width, 11m, and is up to 3m deep. The aqueduct is truncated at the south by an infilled gravel pit; the detached southern section shown on the 1:10000 and 1:2500 Ordnance Survey maps no longer survives. The course of the channel suggests that it was intended to carry water to a series of fishponds which extend along the coombe north east of the abbey. The channel bypasses the steep-sided and irregular hollow known as Tickleford Pond. It has been suggested that this was the possible site of a water catchment area or conduit head for the western aqueduct channel and that a dam could have been located on the site of Newtown Road. The channel does not now reach the hollow. Excluded from the scheduling are all fences, fence- and sign-posts, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 24325

Legacy System: RSM


Ordnance Survey , SU 40NE 2, (1970)

End of official listing