WAT JOM THONG (1)





Wat Jom Thong, or the Monastery of the Golden Peak, was located on Ayutthaya’s city island in the southern area of the Pratu Chai Sub-district. The temple was situated south of an ancient canal called Khlong Chang Maha Chai (1).


Wat Khok Chang was north of the temple opposite the canal, while Wat Suan Luang stood west.


There are no traces anymore of the former monastery, and houses have been built on the site.


Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.


Wat Jom Thong on the maps


Wat Jom Thong is not mentioned on a 19th-century map of an unknown surveyor. In its estimated location, we find Wat Ket. Wat Ket is situated along the south bank of the Chang Maha Chai Canal, east of Wat Suan Luang and west of Wat Racha Monthian. Wat Wang Chai is in the south, while Wat Rat stands opposite the canal to the north.


In the manuscript "Testimony of the king from Wat Pradu Songtham", a document likely compiled in the Early Rattanakosin Period, is written that in the Ayutthaya era, there was a fresh market called Head Granary Market in front of Wat Ket beside the Granary of Great Victory. [1]


The monastery is shown on Phraya Boran Rachathanin’s [PBR] map drafted in 1926 CE in a nearly identical position as Wat Ket on a 19th-century map. Wat Suan Luang stood west of Wat Jom Thong, while the Granary was east. Wat Khok Chang stood opposite the canal in the north. Phraya Boran (1871-1936 CE) was the Superintendent Commissioner of Monthon Ayutthaya from 1925 till 1929 CE but occupied important functions since 1896 CE in Monthon Ayutthaya.


A 1993 CE Fine Arts Department [FAD] map indicates Wat Jom Thong in nearly the same position as on PBR’s map, but a 2007 FAD GIS map positions Wat Jom Thong west of the Rear Palace, but in my opinion, this position is not correct.


The site must have been approximately in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 10.54" N, 100° 33' 2.72" E.


Footnotes:


(1) Khlong Chang Maha Chai or the "Maha Chai Granary Canal" is a defunct waterway. The east-west running canal had its mouth at the old Lopburi River (the in 1857 deviated Chao Phraya River) in front of Wat Thamma and linked up with Khlong Pak Tho. The canal passed the fortified city wall at the Chang Maha Chai Gate, a large water gate between Wat Suan Luang and Wat Sop Sawan. The canal has been filled up somewhere after the fall of Ayutthaya (1767 CE) and no traces of the waterway are left today.


References:


[1] Baker, Chris (2011). Before Ayutthaya Fell: Economic Life in an Industrious Society. Markets and Production in the City of Ayutthaya before 1767: Translation and Analysis of Part of the Description of Ayutthaya. Journal of the Siam Society. Vol. 99.