Aquaduct

On three separate occasions between 1512 and 1521 an Aquaduct is mentioned in the Ramsey Abbey Employees list.

In 1512 John Emesley a labourer is paid 32d  for 10 days work to dig around the Aquaduct.

In 1521 William Gardiner is paid 16d  for 10 days labouring around the Aquaduct.

In 1521 William Gardiner is paid 23d  for repairing the house of the Aquaduct.

The mention of an Aquaduct tells us that a water system had been built to supply the Abbey with running water, the Aquaduct house mentioned was probably a cistern built so water could be stored and would give pressure in the system to push the water to different parts of the Abbey.  Water was an essential need for the Abbey, for the Kitchens, washing and cleaning, the Lavatorium where the Monks would have washed their hands before meals and of course the Reredorter system for toilets.  In its heyday the Abbey was home to 80 Monks and hundreds of workers, so a good water supply was needed.

Below is a Photo of Canterbury Conduit House this would have been similar to the Ramsey Abbey Aquaduct House.  They both provided a water system into the Abbey buildings.

Looking at the Ramsey Aquaduct house mentioned, it is reasonable to assume that it had to be fed by a source of springs on the island.  This idea is supported by looking at the well at the Ramsey Rural Museum.  The well was found in the 1980s by Museum staff, it was completely hidden and doesn't appear on any of the estate maps.  It is 26ft deep 10ft across and has a constant depth of water of 16ft, so it's possible that there would have been a number of these wells feeding the Abbey water system.

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