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Hobson's Conduit

Brookside, Cambridge, CB2.

Hobson's Conduit is a watercourse believed to be created by Thomas Hobson in the early 17th century to improve sanitation in Cambridge. The existing conduit flows alongside Brookside and Trumpington Street, although the original course emanated from springs at Nine Wells and had four branches in the city. Based in Brookside, Cambridge, Hobson's Conduit is a local attraction.


Business Details

This quaint Jacobean structure now stands at the entrance to the town from Trumpington Road. Thomas Hobson probably contributed to its erection (which was at the joint charge of the town and University), and bequeathed some land for its maintenance, and £10 for the purpose of making it higher.

The land was part of the ground on which Downing College stands, and the sum paid by this College for it was invested in the purchase of an estate at Over. Upon one side of the Conduit is the following inscription:-

"This structure stood upon the Market Hill, and served as a Conduit from 1614 to 1856, in which year it was re-erected on this spot by public subscription."

Upon another side is the following:

"Thomas Hobson, carrier between Cambridge and London, a great benefactor to this University and Town, died 1st January, 1630, in the 86th year of his age."

After the Restoration the Corporation ordered £7 to be expended in placing the Royal Arms on the Conduit. The water of the watercourse at the end of which it stands was brought from the "nine wells" or springs at Great Shelford, at the expense of the University and of the town, in 1610, for the purpose of furnishing a good supply of water for public use.

The stream runs under-ground for a short distance from this point, and then re-appears, flowing on either side of Trumpington Street, and forming a pleasant and peculiar feature in Cambridge. It is also conducted into St. Andrew's Street, and supplies the baths in Emmanuel and Christ's Gardens, and the fountain on the Market Hill..

Contact Information

Hobson's Conduit
Brookside / Trumpington Street

Type of Business

Hobson's Conduit are listed in the local attractions section here:


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Further Information

Hobson's Conduit is in Brookside Cambridge. You can view a list of neighbouring businesses by going to the Brookside page.

If you would like a list of other listings throughout Cambridge, please visit the Local Attractions section of this website.


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Hobson's Conduit on a Map

Map showing business location in Brookside, in South Cambridge

Note: the pin is positioned at the postcode centre, and may not correspond with the precise location of Brookside / Trumpington Street.