WAT KHOK PHRAYA (วัดโคกพระยา)
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2009
Updated September 2014
(Ruins of Wat Khok Phraya)
(Satellite chedi in situ)
(View of the site)
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)
(Pictures by Tricky Vandenberg)
Wat Khok Phraya or the Monastery of the Mound of the Nobles (1) is a small
monastic ruin build in the Early Ayutthaya period (1350 - 1488 AD). It is located north
outside the city island in
Lum Phli sub-district in the vicinity of Wat Na Phra Men and
Wat Hatsadawat.

The ruin consists of a walled vihara with a bell shaped chedi on octagonal base. There
are several chedi rai in situ. A brick platform is situated on the north side. As it was
described in 1629 by Van Vliet as being an old ruin, the temple had to be restored
several times during the centuries.

The location was witness to many punishments and executions of royals of Ayutthaya.
Some locals calls the place haunted. It was here that the young
King Thong Lan, son of
King Boromaracha I was executed by Ramesuan, the governor of Lopburi, in 1388.
The method used in Ayutthaya in that time was to tie the victim in a velvet sack, and
dashed in its chest with a club of sandal-wood. By this means the royal body was not
touched.

"In 744, a year of the dog, fourth of the decade, King Bòromracha I passed away,
having been on the throne for thirteen years. So Prince Thòng Lan, his son [F: and
fifteen years of age], ascended the royal throne and ruled for seven days. King
Ramesuan came down from Lopburi, [BCDE: entered] [F: managed to enter] the
[BCDF: royal] palace, was able to arrest Prince Thòng Lan, and had him executed
at Khok Phraya Monastery. [F: Then he ascended the royal throne.]"
[1]

The child
King Yot Fa, son of King Chairacha was executed in 1547 by Khun
Warawongsa in this location in order that he could usurp the throne.

"In 891, a year of the [BDEF: ox] [C: boar], first of the decade, on Sunday, the
fifth day of the waxing moon of the eighth month, Khun Warawongsa, Lord of the
Realm, [BDEF: plotted with] [C: and] Queen Regent Si Sudacan [BDEF: to have]
[C: had] King Yòt Fa taken to be executed at Khòk Phraya Monastery, but Prince
Si Sin, his younger brother, who was only seven years old, was spared. King Yòt Fa
had been on the throne for [BCEF: one year and two months] [D: two years and
six months]."
 [2]

In 1611
King Si Saowaphak (1610-1611) was killed by Prince Si Sin, the younger
brother of
King Songtham and his body was buried at this monastery. Prince Sri Sin,
rightful heir to the throne, on his turn, was killed in early 1629 at Wat Khok Phraya on
order of King Songtham's son Prince Chettha. Van Vliet wrote at that time [3]:

"There he was placed upon a piece of red cloth, whereupon his chest was dashed in
with a piece of sandalwood. They wrapped up the body and the sandalwood club in
the cloth, and the whole was thrown into a well where the body was left to
decompose."

King Chettha shortly after was executed at the same time with his mother Queen Amarit
on order of the Mandarins at this temple in august 1629, eight months after his throne
ascendancy in December 1628. In 1633, during the third year of King Prasat Thong's
reign, the usurper king succeeded in killing nearly all scions of King Songtham at Wat
Khok Phraya. Van Vliet wrote:

"Hereupon the three boys (who together were about eighteen years of age) were
apprehended, taken to the same place of execution, and killed in the same manner
as their lawful uncle and their four brothers. The woman was cut in two and her
remains were thrown into the river."

In 1656 it was the theatre for the execution of King Chai by Prince Si Sutham Racha and
Prince Narai and the killing of King Si Sutham Ratcha by Prince Narai. Prince Sarasak
(Luang Sorasak) in 1703 at the end of the reign of King Phetracha, moves against its
future rivals and killed the princes Trat Noi and Khwan, both, sons of King Phetracha
and candidates for the throne. Their bodies were buried at the monastery.

In 1758 three half-brothers of
King Uthumphon, who were collecting large bands of
armed followers and appeared to be plotting a rebellion were executed on the spot.

This place finally, has been the killing ground for five dynasties of Kings starting by the U-
Thong and ending by the Ban Phlu Luang Dynasty, Ayutthaya’s last.

Wat Khok Phraya mentioned as "Wat Kock Pia" is found on François Valentyn's map
published in the third part of the work Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën (1726). [4]

Footnotes:

In the Siamese French English Dictionary from Pallegoix we find the Thai word "Phraya"
translated as "king, mandarin". I translate the word "Phraya" as "nobles". [4]

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 12 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - King Thong Lan, 1388.
[2] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 23 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - Usurpation of Khun Warawongsa, June - July
1548.
[3] Van Vliet's Siam - Chris Baker, Dhiravat Na Pombejra, Alfons Van Der Kraan &
David K. Wyatt. - (2005) - Silkworm Books.
[4] Valentyn, François - Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën (1626) - Deel 3 - Boek 6 -
Beschryvinge van Siam en onsen Handel aldaar.
[5] Siamese French English Dictionary by D.J.B. Pallegoix Bishop of Mallos. Vicar
apostolic of Siam - revised by J.L. Vey Bishop of Geraza, Vicar apostolic of Siam -
printing office of the Catholic Mission Bangkok (1896) - page 712.
(Wat Khok Phraya on Valentyn's map)
(Detail of Wat Khok Phraya on Valentyn's map)