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Gallows Conduit House (In Grounds of Hampton Spring)

A Grade II* Listed Building in Kingston upon Thames, London

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Latitude: 51.4183 / 51°25'5"N

Longitude: -0.275 / 0°16'30"W

OS Eastings: 520046

OS Northings: 170220

OS Grid: TQ200702

Mapcode National: GBR 8Y.FC1

Mapcode Global: VHGR9.5MZ3

Plus Code: 9C3XCP9F+8X

Entry Name: Gallows Conduit House (In Grounds of Hampton Spring)

Listing Date: 30 May 1951

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1080062

English Heritage Legacy ID: 203117

Location: Coombe Hill, Kingston upon Thames, London, KT2

County: London

District: Kingston upon Thames

Electoral Ward/Division: Coombe Hill

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Kingston upon Thames

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Norbiton St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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30-MAY-1951 (South side)

Conduit house. 1538-40 with later alterations.

MATERIALS: Red brick with stone dressings.

PLAN: Two separate buildings; an upper and lower chamber joined by an underground pipe or culvert.

The lower chamber is a rectangular single-storey building with a steeply-pitched tiled roof. It is built of red brick with gauged brick window dressings dating from the late C17 or early C18. The front (south) elevation contains a square chamfered head doorway with chamfered jambs. The building is set on a brick plinth with, on the east side, the possible motif V-T-V in black headers. The upper chamber is situated to the north. It is a small brick vaulted building, which covered the spring.

The lower chamber has recessed brick arches in the walls and a small cupboard opening. It has a modern concrete floor but the original lead cistern may survive below it. The roof contains some old timbers. The upper chamber is now inaccessible but when surveyed in 1900 it measured approximately 2.1m long by 1.5m wide and contained a narrow rectangular water tank served by at least five feeder pipes.

Gallows Conduit House was constructed in 1538-40 as part of a new conduit to provide Hampton Court Palace with water from springs at Coombe about 5km to the north-east. An existing conduit had been established at Hampton village by one of the previous owners, Sir Giles Daubeney or Thomas Wolsey. However following the acquisition of Hampton Court by King Henry VIII, there was need for a greater supply of water, maintained at a higher pressure. After the suppression of Merton Priory in 1538, land was set aside in upper Kingston for a new water supply system. A summary account covering the period 1538 to 1545, mentions 'charges of the condyte from Combhill' and also a sum of £100 spent on the construction. The water was collected at the head of the springs in Coombe, in water tanks covered by secure brick buildings known as conduit houses. There were three conduit houses known as Coombe Conduit, Gallows Conduit, and Ivy Conduit, all of which survive. The water flowed, under gravity in underground lead pipes, to the Palace. The route of the pipes passed under the rivers Hogsmill and Thames via several tamkin houses. These were small brick buildings with stopcocks and expansion tanks that allowed part of the pipe to be isolated so leaks could be identified and repaired. One of these tamkin houses, Gallows Tamkin, is still standing.

There are records of repair work to the conduit in the early C17 and early C18. In 1742 the Office of Works ordered a survey of the conduit and undertook a major overhaul to increase its efficiency. It continued to supply Hampton Court until 1876.

Gallows Conduit House gained its name through being sited near the local gibbet, or gallows, in the C16. The conduit house is shown in a detailed plan of Hampton Court conduit system drawn by Thomas Fort in 1742.

Lindus Forge, J, Coombe Hill Conduit Houses and the Water Supply System of Hampton Court Palace (1959), In Surrey Archaeological Collections, Vol 56, 3-14
Thurley, S, The Royal Palaces of Tudor England (1993), 163-170
Thurley, S, Hampton Court: A Social and Architectural History (2003), 73-4, 112, 285, 322-3
Panizzo, P and Lown, S, The Conduit Houses of Coombe - the ancient water supply to Hampton Court Palace (2006), pamphlet

Gallows Conduit House is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as a rare surviving mid-C16 conduit house that retains a substantial amount of original fabric;
* Historic interest: as a conduit house forming part of a Tudor water supply system to Hampton Court Palace;
* Group value: for its historical and functional association with Coombe Conduit House, Ivy Conduit House and Gallows Tamkin, buildings that formed part of the same water supply system, and Hampton Court Palace, the royal palace which the conduit supplied.

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