Tuesday, 27 April 2021

St. Mary's Conduit in Lincoln

A detail on the north end of St. Mary's Conduit

The church of St. Mary-le-Wigford was the first stop on my day out in Lincoln, to further explore its historic buildings, and the next – the Grade II* Listed St. Mary’s Conduit – is set 20 only metres away in its grounds.
A general view of the conduit and church

As with St. Mary’s church, I had passed by this ornate structure numerous times when living in Lincoln and during my many visits to this wonderful historic cathedral city, but I had never stopped to look closely or tried to find out anything about it.
A general view from across High Street

The conduit was set up by the inhabitants of the south ward of Lincoln, with it being built from fragments of the Lincoln stone reused from the Carmelite Friary, which stood a short distance away to the south, on the opposite side of High Street, until its dissolution in the 1530’s. It first supplied water in 1540 and, although finally shut down in 1907, Lincoln’s conduits were trusted more than the mains water during the typhoid epidemic of 1904/5.
The east elevation

Having no information about the monument to hand at the time, I just took a set of photos to record the general architectural features of each elevation, which included various fragments of decorative masonry set within it.
A view of the east and north elevations

On the east elevation, which was in deep shade, I was interested to see that several of the stones have failed by ‘bursting’ – an unusual weathering phenomenon that I had first noticed in the Lincoln stone, when living in Lincoln back in 1984, but have not encountered
since elsewhere.
A detail of the east elevation

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