Bolsover Cundy House
You might already know of Bolsover Castle, a magnificent 17th-century fortress near Chesterfield, that’s one of Yorkshire’s best historic attractions.
However, you may not have heard of the Bolsover Cundy House that sits nearby, a humble abode that this massive castle was completely reliant on.
Water wonderful house
Bolsover Cundy House was built on the slope of a spring in order to supply water to Bolsover Castle just a few hundred yards away.
In fact, the word “cundy” is actually short for “conduit”, meaning water pipe.
You’ll find it hidden away amongst the trees, an out of place and intriguing little building that’s begging to be explored.
Using a system of underground pipes, it pumped water into parts of the castle and the surrounding land, including the gorgeous Venus Fountain in the castle’s garden.
The house continued to supply the castle with water all the way into the 20th century, and restoration work means it’s still functional today.
Restored and ready
Conduit houses like this one were once found all over Britain: by sheltering water within a roofed building, they protected it from contamination.
Yet, there are few as impressive and well-restored as Bolsover Cundy House.
This suggests that while Bolsover Cundy House was no doubt built to be functional, its builders also intended for it to be a striking piece of architecture as well, making it much more memorable than most conduit houses of the time.
We’re sure you’ll agree as you walk along the path that leads up to the charming little building, with its neatly cut walls and solid roof, all made of stone.
To see a stone roof like this is very unusual: conduit houses often had roofs made of timber or slate, but since stone wouldn’t decay it was used instead.
Stopping by Bolsover Cundy House is the perfect companion trip to a visit to Bolsover Castle.
This fascinating little building was so carefully and intelligently designed, it’s hard to believe its purpose was just to supply water to the castle - yet it did so efficiently and succeeded not only at this but at being memorable in its own right as well.
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