The Conduit House


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Conduit House, Bowden Hill, Lacock, Chippenham, SN15 2PP, SN152PP


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Statutory Address:
Conduit House, Bowden Hill, Lacock, Chippenham, SN15 2PP, SN152PP

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

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A C16 conduit house built on the site of an earlier medieval structure that served the water supply for Lacock Abbey.

Reasons for Designation

Conduit House 50m north of the Church of St Anne is, Bowden Hill, Lacock, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: as a well-preserved mid-C16 conduit house, notable for its restrained classical design; * Historic interest: as the site of a medieval conduit associated with Lacock Abbey (Grade I); * Group value: it forms a group with the Church of St Anne (Grade II).


The Conduit House dates to the mid-C16. It was reputedly built by Sir William Sharington (c1495- c1553), who bought and rebuilt Lacock Abbey in the 1540s following the Dissolution. Around this time a medieval conduit house was replaced over the water supply to the Abbey. The original building was constructed after 1280 when William Bluet of Bewley Court granted Beatrice, Abbess of Lacock the right to build and maintain a conduit house and watercourse on his land to serve the nunnery. The building has undergone minor alterations and repairs since its C16 replacement.


A C16 conduit house.

DESCRIPTION: constructed of limestone ashlar with a steep gabled roof constructed of interlocking stone slabs with a projecting moulding. The building is roughly square on plan with a west end door in a plain chamfered surround and cyma-moulded cornice over. A roundel above has a raised foliage border around an eroded raised plaque. The east end wall has similar roundel. There is a moulded plinth. The doorway may be a later insertion and the door is of C19 or C20 date. The interior has a stone block and tile floor with a drain by the door. Aligned east/west a rectangular stone tank is sunk below the floor, and has a moulded coping with slots for a former lid covering. At the east end is an inlet opening with inserted terracotta pipe, and the west end has a drain in the base. The north, east and south walls have an ashlar niche with a shallow four-centred arch. The architraves of the niches have historic graffiti (dates and initials). The interior walls have a coarse applied render. The roof structure comprises five closely-spaced rounded stone ribs. The building is enclosed by a metal railed fence with gate.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Cherry, B, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, (1985 (2nd extensively revised edition)), 119


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 11 Jan 2002
Reference: IOE01/04600/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Gill Cardy. Source Historic England Archive
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