The conduit house which supplied water to St Augustine’s Abbey should have been the first stop on the Whitley Pump tour of Canterbury, but there were so many other attractions and we almost didn’t find it.
Drawing of the Whitley Conduit 1908 by Mr T.T. Cumming – Berks, Bucks & Oxon Archaeological Journal Vol 14
The Whitley Conduit on Highgrove Street was probably Reading Abbey’s drinking water source until the Abbey’s dissolution in the sixteenth century. The conduit existed at least until 1908, when Edward Margrett described the remains and requested that the municipal authorities repair it. But what happened to it after that?
A view of Reading Abbey ruins from Forbury Gardens
The Whitley Pump takes an interest in the current developments at Reading Abbey which should lead to its re-opening to visitors in 2018. When it was first built, the abbey would have been visible from the top of Whitley and Katesgrove Hill.