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Water Supply

A group of Franciscan Friars arrived in Southampton in 1229. They believed in working with the poor and those in need and set up a Friary near where the Gloucester Square car park, off the lower end of the High Street, now stands.

They needed a fresh water supply and were given a spring on land owned by Nicholas, Lord of the Manor of Shirley.

The water was piped to a Waterhouse (opposite the Mayflower Theatre) then via lead pipes to the Friary.

The Franciscans allowed the town people to share the water from a tap outside the Friary wall.

Responsibility for the water supply was taken over by the town around 1420 making Southampton one of the first towns to have a municipal water supply.

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