Monument record LVM 051 - Water Street culvert

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The culvert appeared to date from a range of different periods, largely post medieval, and had undergone significant repair, but may have origins in the 16th century.


Grid reference Centred TL 91646 49129 (371m by 78m)
Map sheet TL94NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Brick lined culvert under Water Street believed to have been constructed by early C16th (see S1 & LVM 043) and possibly one of the oldest surviving planned drainage networks and of national importance. Forms straightened (?) natural water-course running W-E to the River Brett between TL 9152 4916 & TL 9189 4909.
Filmed by Anglian Water with mini-video camera - seen by Robert Carr (in 2004) at AW Huntingdon Office - apparently W length (opposite Barn Street) tall and narrow and (concrete?) lined and E length (opposite Shilling Street approx) wider and shallow arched with brick headers and stretchers. Unfortunately precise location of conduit not made clear (S2).
According to Alston (R1) Arbons House (part of the Lavenham Press site - see LVM 043) was originally built fronting the stream and, like other houses on the S side of the street, was extended over the culvert circa 1530. The culvert now runs beneath the front of these houses. Perhaps originally forming a water supply for the cloth industry it probably forms part of a more extensive culvert system, now acting as part of the sewer(?)(S1).
Exact alignment/s not determined - HER mapping approximation only.
In January 2007 English Heritage carried out an archaeological Investigation into a reputed late medieval brick culvert running below the modern ground surface on Water Street in Lavenham. A combination of desk-based research and site visits revealed limited evidence of a single, late medieval culvert. Instead the culvert appeared to date from a range of different periods, largely post medieval, and had undergone significant repair and maintenance by Anglian Water, and previous authorities responsible for the culverts management. It is recommended that specialists provisioned and trained to work in enclosed spaces, may be required to give full analysis on the date, form and significance of the Water Street culvert (S3).

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service evaluation report. Meredith J (with Breen A)(SCCAS Rep 2004/65, April 2004.
  • <R1> Unpublished document: Survey. Alston LA, Lavenham Press, Arbons House … : An historical Assessment, 2003 (specialist report).
  • <S2> Verbal communication: Personal communication. Carr R (SCCAS) to Pendleton C(SCCAS), Jan 2007.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Fradley M. 2007. A Desk Based Assessment,of a Brick Culvert, Water Street, Lavenham.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 21 2012 2:10PM

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