WAT SIAM RAT





Wat Siam Rat is a defunct temple situated on Ayutthaya’s city island in the Pratu Chai Sub-district.

The first-time indication of Wat Siam Rat is on Phraya Boran Rachathanin’s [PBR] map of 1926 CE. The temple is only found after that on a Fine Arts Department map of 1974 map, but this map is primarily based on PBR. No other maps after this date show this temple. 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.

Based on the PBR map, Wat Siam Rat was part of an east-west aligned cluster of small temples just south of Wat Khun Mueang Jai. The aligned temples based on the map are Wat Tha Jin, Wat Thanon Jin, Wat Cho Ae, Wat Nang Chi and Wat Siam Rat. Wat Siam Rat stood east of Wat Nang Chi.

These temples were likely part of the Chinese quarter on the island, east of Khlong Pratu Jin (1), situated on the island's southeast corner.

Chris Baker wrote: "In the seventeenth-century European accounts, the main Chinese commercial settlement was in the southeast, behind the port, where the main thoroughfare was called Chinese Street and the city gate called Chinese Gate. In the Description, this market stretches over half a kilometer along Chinese Street, which is lined with “Chinese brick shops on both sides” selling “all kinds of goods from China, including food and fruit”. This market has also expanded to the east and merged with the Three Horses Market behind Diamond Fort. On the island, close to the main Chinese market, there are Chinese settlements making sweets, noodles, barrels, water jars, rattan furniture, and metal ware." [1]

The remnants of the temple must have been buried by the construction of the Rojana Road linking the old Provincial Hall with the Pridi-Thamrong Bridge somewhere between 1940 and 1943 CE. There is no further information available regarding Wat Siam Rat.

The monastery must have been situated in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 3.76" N, 100° 34' 25.46" E .

Footnotes:

(1) Khlong Pratu Jin or the "Canal of the Chinese Gate" is part of a waterway running through the middle of Ayutthaya from north to south. The canal ran from the Chikun Bridge to the Chinese Watergate (Pratu Jin), one of the eleven water gates at that time and was an extension of Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak. The canal was, in fact, a shortcut (Khlong lat) through the oxbow of the Lopburi River and connected the old Lopburi River, present Khlong Mueang in the north with - what is today - the Chao Phraya River in the south. The north-south canal was filled in the last century except for a small stretch of water between Wat Tha Sai and Wat Racha Praditsathan near Pratu Khao Pluak. The canal, starting from Saphan Chikun, was crossed by two bridges, being Saphan Khun Mueang Jai and Saphan Talat Jin.

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.