WAT KHOK 4 (วัดโคก)
Wat Khok or the "Monastery of the Mound" is located off the main island in the
Southeast. It appears on several maps starting with Phraya Boran Rachathanin's of 1926.

This monastery was constructed beside
Wat Phanan Choeng, but separated by a tiny
canal. It has since been annexed by Wat Phanan Choeng, which has greatly grown in
popularity. Wat Phanan Choeng’s school is presently situated on this former site.

It is unclear if there are any remains of Wat Khok. A large hill can still be seen where it
probably stood; however, there are not any bricks or structures to identify it. This mound
is uncharacteristic for this geographic area. Some excavation could reveal something.

There is little known about the history of this monastery. This area is ethnically Chinese,
and it may have been used by this community as a shrine.
Map Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien - F. Valentijn
Addendum

The "Description of Ayutthaya", an old verbal description of the capital, lists eight
important Buddha images at temples in the city. One of these temples housed the "
Phra
Phuttha Borom Trailokanat Satsadayan
", seated in meditation, six cubits across the
lap, cast in brass. [1]

As there are many temples in Ayutthaya bearing the name "Khok" it is difficult - not to
say nearly impossible - today to find exactly out where the location was, but Wat Khok
here is a possible contender.

Wat Khok is mentioned on the detailed map of the Chao Phraya River of François
Valentyn and part of his work "Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien" (1724-1726) as "
Wat
Kuuk
". [2] As it was close to the Dutch settlement, we could say that the temple was
mentioned on Valentyn's map due to its proximity to the Dutch lodge; on the other hand
Valentyn seems only to mention important markers or points of interest on his map.

In the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya we find a Wat Khok mentioned.
King
Phumintharacha
(r. 1709-1733) aka King Thai Sa had the temple renovated around
1721-24. If this temple was not important it would not be in the Chronicles; hence this
must have been likely the temple housing the "Phra Phuttha Borom Trailokanat
Satsadayan".

The Monastery of the Mound being dilapidated and in ruins, the King thereupon
manifested His holy compassion by speaking over the heads and over the pates
and commanding the primary grand chief head marshal to have it restored and
then to have a holy residence established beside the monastery. His Majesty went
out in holy royal procession to reside [there], sometimes for one month, some
times for two months and sometimes for three months at a time.
[3]

In that year of the ox, first of the decade, a holy royal command was issued to
have artisans restore the Monastery of the Mound. His Majesty constantly went in
holy royal procession to have the artisans perform the work on that monastery.
Occasionally, however, His Majesty stayed at a holy residence beside the
Monastery of the Mound, sometimes for one month, sometimes for two months,
and administered royal affairs in that place. It was more than three years before
that monastery was completely finished.
[4]

After the renovation of Wat Khok, King Thai Sa ordered carpenters to build a ship with
three decks, 37 meters long and 12 meters wide. The large anchor for the ship was
struck at Wat Khok (the ship was sent out with more than 30 elephants on board). The
only people capable (knowledge and craftsmanship) to build such a large ship, were the
Dutch. Such a large ship would for obvious reasons not have been built north of
Ayutthaya’s City Island. I conclude that this ship was built in the vicinity of Wat Khok
along the “
Bangkok River” (1), with easy access for the Dutch to follow up its
construction. In this case the opposite
Wat Khok at Bang Kaja should not be excluded
as a contender.

After the construction of the Monastery of the Mound was completed, the King
manifested His holy compassion by commanding the primary grand chief head
marshal to have the arrangements made to dedicate and celebrate the Monastery
of the Mound. The primary chief head marshal, after receiving his warrant, had a
hall for masques and a hall for dances set up. After that was accomplished, three
hundred holy clerics were invited to recite Holy Buddhist mantras and then to
chant for three days. After the King had presented cloth and paraphernalia
appropriate as alms to each figure, a festival was held for three whole days. The
King manifested His holy compassion by commanding the Kosathibòdi to have a
three-faced ship with six wa wide beams built. Then the King manifested His holy
compassion by commanding [artisans] to make an anchor for it at the Monastery
of the Mound. Building the ship took more than five months before it was
completed. Then [the King] had [men] use its sails to take it out to the
Municipality of Marit. Then [the King] had it loaded with forty elephants and go
forth to sell them at the Thet municipalities.
[5]

In a year of the horse, sixth of the decade, [1726] the Supreme Holy Lord of the
Realm had carpenters build a [DFK: large] triple-visaged ship, eighteen wa and
two sòk long, and six wa and two sòk wide at the beam, and had a large anchor
struck for it at the Monastery of the Mound. In five months that large ship was
finished. [The King] had it taken out to the Municipality of [CD: Marit] [FK:
Marüt], loaded with over thirty elephants, and sent it to sell [CD: the elephants
at] [FK: them in] the distant Thet municipalities. The various people [assigned to
the ship], after boarding the ship and using its sails to go to the Thet
municipalities, sold those elephants and obtained silver and cloth in great
quantities [in exchange]. Then they returned and came back to the Municipality of
[CD: Marit] [FK: Marüt] a little over a year later.
[6]

Footnotes:

(1) The Bangkok River was in the Ayutthayan era, the stretch of water of the Lopburi
River from Bang Kaja at the southern point of Ayutthaya till its confluence with the Chao
Phraya River
at Bang Sai. The Bangkok River became a stretch of the Chao Phraya
River in the 19th century after the latter was deviated in Ban Kum to Ayutthaya in 1857.
The stretch of water from Ban Kum until Bang Sai is called today the Bang Ban Canal
and joins the
Noi River at Nam Tao. The  latter flows south until Bang Sai, where it joins
the present Chao Phraya River.

References:

[1] Chris Baker - Final Part of the Description of Ayutthaya with Remarks on Defence,
Policing, Infrastructure, and Sacred Sites - Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 102, 2014
- page 166.
[2] Barend - Jan Terwiel (2008)A Traveler in Siam in the Year 1655: Extracts from the
Journal of Gijsbert Heeck - plate 2.
[3] Richard D. Cushman (2006) - The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - page 404 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat - Renovations at Various Monasteries.
[4] Richard D. Cushman (2006) - The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - page 404 /
Source: British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Royal Autograph and Chronicle source
unknown - Renovations at Various Monasteries
[5] Richard D. Cushman (2006) - The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - page 406 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat - Royal Elephant-Hunting and Pilgrimage.
[6] Richard D. Cushman (2006) - The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - page 406 /
Source: British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Royal Autograph and Chronicle source
unknown - Royal Elephant-Hunting and Pilgrimage.
Text by Ken May - March 2009
Addendum, photograph and maps by Tricky Vandenberg - April 2009
Reviewed July 2014
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
Bodhi tree in location
(Bodhi tree in location)
(Map Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien - F. Valentijn)
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)