WAT LANGKHA DAM (วัดหลังคาดำ)
This deserted monastery is located on the city island within the Ayutthaya Historic
Park. It can be easily visited on foot or by bicycle. Motor vehicles are not allowed to
access it.

There are three main structures in situ at Wat Langkha Dam. These restored structures
have mostly been built toward an east/west axis. In front is a small, roofless, sermon hall.
The entrance is on the eastern side and there are a few small windows for ventilation.
There are traces of an altar and stubs of pillars inside. No Buddha images are present.
Behind this sermon hall is a bell-shaped chedi in the style associated with the middle-
Ayutthaya period. It has an octagonal base with several layers leading to its relic
chamber. There are at least 11 rings around the spire. The finial is gone, but the harmika
is still in good shape. There is still plenty of stucco remaining. A second chedi can be
found on the northwestern side of the sermon hall. Its architectural style dates to the Late
Ayutthaya period. Although this chedi has significantly eroded, there are hints of a
Khmer influence. There are several indented corners around this chedi. An arched niche
is visible at the relic chamber, but this has been plundered leaving a hole. In addition,
traces of monastery walls are in situ as well as some renovated chedi. These are only
viewable at the basic ground level.

There isn’t much known about the history of Wat Langkha Dam. It was named after the
black tiles on its roof. Given the similarity in names, this monastery probably had some
connection with
Wat Langkha Khao. The two temples were separated only by a small
moat, and the same road passed in front of both monasteries. Wat Langkha Dam was
also situated along Klong Nam Cheawn - a canal that brought fast moving water from
Khlong Mueang (the old Lopburi River) to Bueng Phra Ram. The water flow of this
canal was regulated by a gate known as Pratu Tasibiay. A portion of the gate’s wall can
still be seen along U-Thong Road. This canal was aligned with a number of temples: Wat
Langkha Khao,
Wat Chum Saeng, Wat Yan Sen, Wat Sangkha Pat, and Wat Phong.
Text & photographs by Ken May - August 2009
Addendum

The water flow of Khlong Nam Chiao was not regulated by the gate known as Pratu Tha
Sip Bia (the Gate of the Landing of the Ten Cowries). This gate was a large land gate in
the northern city wall situated near the northeastern corner of the outer wall of
Wat
Thammikarat. Following Phraya Boran Rachathanin (PBR) the Nam Chiao canal entered
the city two entries further to the east at an entrance called
Chong Maha Thera Mai
Sae
. The canal aligned with Wat Chum Saeng, Wat Langkha Khao, Wat Langkha Dam,
Wat Sangkha Pat, and Wat Phong mentioned above, was called
Lam Khu Pak Sra. [1]
This author believes that the local people could have called the latter Khlong Nam Chiao,
but this is in contradiction with PBR's writings.

References:

[1]อธิบายแผนที่พระนครศรีอยุธยากับคำวินิจฉัยของพระยาโบราฌราชาธานินท์
ฉบับชำระครั้งที่๒และภูมิสถนกรุงศรีอยุธยา (2007) - Explanation of the map of the
Capital of Ayutthaya with a ruling of Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Revised 2nd edition
and Geography of the Ayutthaya Kingdom - Ton Chabab print office - Nonthaburi
(2007) - page 53.
Addendum by Tricky Vandenberg - May 2011