Contributed by Underground Passages in Exeter

This lead pipe was made to carry drinking water through Exeter's Underground Passages. You can see where the join was folded over to create a supposedly watertight seal. When the joints weakened, emergency repairs were made by using pieces of cloth soaked in animal rats. Unsurprisingly, this attracted rats! The lead pipes ran along the floor of the Cathedral Passage between 1346 and 1950... when they were stolen by builders, melted down and sold. This piece of lead pipe is the only piece left behind. It is displayed next to the wider cast iron pipe that was laid in the City Passage in the 1800s. The pipe belongs to Exeter City Council, who own and operate the Underground Passages, and all the artefacts within.

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