Capturing Cambridge
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The Market

History of the conduit Market Hill

Before 1849 the market stretched from Petty Cury to Peas Hill in an L-shape. But such was the damage in the Great Fire of Cambridge that destroyed and damaged many houses on Market Hill that the whole area was cleared and by 1855 had become the modern large open rectangle. (from 111 Places in Cambridge That You Shouldn’t Miss pub. Emons)

At the centre of the Market lie the remains of G M Hills’s Gothic conduit of 1855. The original structure of Hobson’s conduit was moved then to the corner of Lensfield and Trumpington Road in 1856. Hill’s conduit was mostly demolished in 1953 and the water supply cut off in 1960.

Cambridge Market Place 1841

This is a picture of the original conduit which was moved in 1856. The illustration is ‘Market Place. by Fredrick Mackensie from the FitzWilliam Museum. There seems to be considerable artistic license in the arrangement of the buildings. In particular St Mary the Great church is absent. A view of King’s College chapel from behind the conduit in Market Square would have to include some view of the church.

Here are two views of the later Gotic style conduit.


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