WAT MONTHOP 1 (วัดมณฑป)
Wat Monthop (mondop/mandapa) or the Monastery of the Spired Building as
Cushman translated it in his Royal Chronicles, is situated on Ko Loi (floating island) in
the northeastern area of Ayutthaya in Hua Ro sub-district. The temple stood before on
main land. The creation of the small islands Ko Loi and Ko Chong Lom due to digging
of new water shortcuts dates from the post Ayutthaya-era.

Wat Monthop is located opposite the canal at the open market in front of the
Chantrakasem Museum and the tourist main long tail boat landing.

The monastery is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya during the last
Burmese war of 1766-1767. The Burmese under General Nemiao finalized their
encirclement of Ayutthaya after having reached and burnt down the Throne Hall at the
Elephant Kraal. The invaders established stockades here in the north-east at Wat Chedi
Daeng, Wat Sam Wihan and Wat Monthop. Bastions were erected in the stockades
from where large guns fired into the city. [1] The main military effort appeared to have
been at the weir called "Hua Ro". General Nemiao ordered the troops at the three
mentioned stockades to build a bamboo slat bridge across the
Lopburi River at the weir
besides the
Maha Chai Fortress. The bamboo bridge was protected against gun fire by
screens on both sides. The Burmese finally crossed this bridge and established a new
stockade on the other bank of the Lopburi River near the Pavilion of Earth outside the
walls. From this stockade the attackers dug a tunnel lengthwise under the foundations of
the wall and stocked firewood in it. On Tuesday 28 April 1767, a large barrage gun fire
was opened on the city by the Burmese in the late afternoon and the combustibles at the
foundations of the wall were set alight. The walls collapsed in the evening and the
Burmese overwhelmed the city of Ayutthaya. [2]

The general of the armies thereupon had the army masters and brigade masters of
the stockades at the Monastery of the Three Preaching Hall, the Monastery of the
Holy Red Funeral Monument and the
Monastery of the Spired Building conscript
troops of soldiers and advance forward to build a bamboo slat bridge across the
Mother of Waters at the Head of the Sluice beside the Fort of Grand Victory. They
brought boards of Palmyra wood and set them up to form Dutch stockades to
screen both sides of the bridge and offer protection from the guns of the
inhabitants of the Holy Metropolis. Then they advanced their troops across the
bamboo slat bridge to the banks beside the walls of the municipality and had them
establish a stockade beside the Pavilion of Earth outside the walls. Then they had
them dig a tunnel curving lengthwise under the foundations of the walls and had
them haul in firewood and place it under the foundations. Then they had the troops
of soldiers for four brigades, five hundred [men] to each brigade, conscripted and
had them make ladders in great numbers to be leaned against the walls and
climbed to take the municipality by surprise attack from all four directions. They
prepared everything in complete readiness and decreed that, on whatever day they
would advance to take the municipality by surprise attack, they would give a
pre-arranged signal, with the sound of a large gun being the sign, and then have
[the soldiers] of every brigade on every side simultaneously take the ladders, lean
them against the walls, ascend them and take the municipality by surprise attack.

The temple stood on the east bank of the Front City Canal, in front of the Chantrakasem
Palace, which housed the Uparat or crown prince and likely had an important religious
function in the 17th and 18th century. In situ are the classic monastic structures of a
Buddhist monastery; ordination hall, vihara, bell-tower, etc.

Its period of construction is unknown. The site is indicated on
Phraya Boran
Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926.

The site is located in Geo Coord: 14° 22' 3.61" N, 100° 34' 31.32" E.

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman - page 517 / Source:
Royal Autograph - Ayutthaya Falls to the Burmese.
[2] Ibid - page 520
Wat Monthop seen from the Wang Na Pier
Vihan and bell tower of Wat Monthop
Ordination hall of Wat Monthop
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - February 2010
(Wat Monthop seen from the Wang Na Pier)
(Vihara and bell tower)
(Ordination hall of Wat Monthop)
Detail of a 19th century map
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy of the Sam
Chao Phraya Museum)
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)