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Part of an elm water pipe, England, 1401-1600

This water pipe was found during an archaeological excavation in West London in 1902. The pipe originally formed part of an underground network supplying parts of London with water. Made from elm and measuring 370 mm in diameter and weighing over 8 kg, this type of wood was a popular choice for water pipes as unlike other woods it does not decay when kept permanently wet. Elm pipes were used until the 1700s.

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Glossary: water pipe

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