Hidden away in the woods of the Nobold area of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, are the remains of the sixteenth-century conduit head from which the town was supplied with water from 1556, right through to 1947.
The conduit head building, Grade II listed, is constructed of roughly-squared red sandstone, timber trusses to each gable, and plain tiles, and dates to about 1578. Inside is a single space, taken up with a brick-lined water tank.
Water was collected from nine wells in the immediate vicinity, seven of which can be easily located amongst the briars. The wells are accessed by a series of interconnected and covered boardwalks, tiled with shingles.
From the site, known as Broadwell, water was piped into town, originally in hollowed-out elm trunks, elm being resistant to decay when permanently wet. Five of the later outlets once associated with the system survive in the town.
Originally a licensed private enterprise, the facility was acquired by the town's corporation in 1878. On the same site is a later pumping house, of 1903, which was in the 1980s converted by Severn Trent Water into a visitor centre, now closed and vandalised. The council acquired the site in 2007, but has, of course, done nothing with it.