Roofed conduit for Oxford's first water mains, constructed during the early 17th century. It was designed to take clean drinking water from the springs at North Hinksey to the Carfax Conduit, an extravagantly decorated fountain in the centre of Oxford. The conduit house protected a 20,000-gallon lead cistern which continued to supply water to the city until 1868. It resembles a small, powerfully-built church, complete with rudimentary flying buttresses, and on the outside walls is some beautifully chiselled graffiti dating from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Opening Times: Open Apr-Oct, Thu-Sun and BHs 10-4
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About the area
Located at the heart of England, Oxfordshire enjoys a rich heritage and surprisingly varied scenery. Its landscape encompasses open chalk downland and glorious beechwoods, picturesque rivers and attractive villages set in peaceful farmland. The countryside in the northwest of Oxfordshire seems isolated by comparison, more redolent of the north of England, with its broad views, undulating landscape and dry-stone walls. The sleepy backwaters of Abingdon, Wallingford, Wantage, Watlington and Witney reveal how Oxfordshire’s old towns evolved over the centuries, while Oxford’s imposing streets reflect the beauty and elegance of ‘that sweet city with her dreaming spires.’ Fans of the fictional sleuth Inspector Morse will recognise many Oxford landmarks described in the books and used in the television series.
The county demonstrates how the strong influence of humans has shaped this part of England over the centuries. The Romans built villas in the pretty river valleys that thread their way through Oxfordshire, the Saxons constructed royal palaces here, and the Normans left an impressive legacy of castles and churches. The philanthropic wool merchants made their mark too, and many of their fine buildings serve as a long-lasting testimony to what they did for the good of the local community.
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