An entry in the Patent Rolls of King Edward III, dated 1350 December 12, reads:
Licence for the alienation in mortmain by the mayor and commonalty of the town of Cantebr[igge] to the prior and Carmelite Friars of Cantebr[igge] of a well of water without the town, called ‘Hokerwell,’ and 10 feet of land in length and 10 feet of land in breadth in the circuit of the well; and for the prior and friars to enclose the same and make an underground aqueduct from the well to their manse.
[Cal. Pat. 1350–4, p. 18. In the Index to this volume, the name is spelled ‘Hokereswell’]
At that period, the
manse of the Carmelite Friars was on Milne Street, on land which lay inbetween the future sites of King’s College and Queens’ College, which would be established nearly a century later.
This licence implies the possibility that there might be, somewhere under the land taken by Queens’ from the suppressed Carmelite monastery in the 1530s, an aqueduct, originally bringing fresh water to the site.
The location of
Hokereswell has not been identified. In later ages, the nearest freshwater springs to Queens’ College were known to be on the plot of land at the junction of Sidgwick Avenue and Queen’s Road, still called Springfield.
Equally, we do not know where, in the Carmelite estate, the aqueduct finished, and delivered its water.
1948: Friaries: Carmelites, Cambridge, in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely, Volume 2, ed. Louis Francis Salzman, pp. 282–286.