|WAT SONG (วัดซอง)
|Wat Song was located in the northeastern corner of the city island and more or less just
opposite Wat Mae Nang Plum. The northeastern corner of the present Ayutthaya city
island was in the beginning of the 16th century dry land, situated outside the city wall
The monastery is first mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya in where is written
that in early 1549, a herd of elephants entered a kraal at Song Monastery. 
About fifteen days later the officials in Lopburi sent down a report about a male
elephant, [E: over] six sok [BCDF: and four niu] high, whose ears and tail all
bore the marks of its belonging to a herd. The chief ministers informed the King
who said, "We will go up to take it. In two days we will set out, so we order that an
official command be sent up to have the [BCDF: officials] [E: Department of
Elephants] go ahead and catch it." About seven days later a herd of elephants,
breaking out of the cover of the jungle, came in toward Mae Nang Plum
Monastery and entered a corral at Song Monastery. The chief ministers informed
the King who said, "Tomorrow we will go to catch them."
It indicates that - at that time - the Lopburi River still would have been in its old track
(present Khlong Hua Ro) and the Pa Sak River still running east of the city in the present
Khlong Hantra bedding. As Steve Van Beek writes: "The Pa Sak River flowed along the
eastern perimeter of the city, a few kilometers east of its present course, and joined the
main river south of Ayutthaya".  We can derive from this that - prior to the first fall of
Ayutthaya in 1569 - elephants could have been chased down on the dry land between
the two rivers, right up into the kraal.
Wat Song was prior 1569 located outside Ayutthaya's city walls. After the first fall of
Ayutthaya, King Maha Thammaracha (r. 1569-1590), realized the poor defenses of the
city and noticed the use of the dry land in front of the city walls by the Burmese attackers.
Maha Thammaracha started to upgrade the defenses of the city. He assessed that the
eastern part of the city needed a better defense. Hence he ordered in the period 1577 -
1580, the building of a series defensive structures, as the Chan Palace, city wall
extensions, fortresses and canal widening. Wat Song as thus, became situated within the
city walls and behind the Maha Chai fortress.
Hengpujaroen wrote that according to some old documents, the walls around the Chan
Kasem Palace or Front Palace had a length of 50 Sen or approximately 2000 m. The
palace occupied thus an area roughly going from the Unmilled Rice Fort (Pom Khao
Phluak) and Wat Tha Sai towards the Maha Chai Fort; going down to the Ho
Rattanachai Gate and running back along the Ho Rattanachai canal towards the Unmilled
Rice Gate. The palace area should have included at least eight monasteries, which one of
them was Wat Song. The issue of such a large palace ground as mentioned here, was
although heavily discussed by scholars and rejected.
At present nothing remains of the former monastery, which location should have been
where the present Hua Ro market is situated.
There was a boat ferry between the landing at Wat Song and Wat Pa Khonthi. In
Ayutthayan times there were twenty-two ferry routes between the main land and the city
island. In the northern area, the six other crossings were: Tha Nuea to Wat Khun Yuan,
Tha Ma Ap Nam to Wat Choeng Tha, Tha Khan to Sala Trawen, Tha Sip Bia to Wat
Pho, Wat Tha Sai to Wat Rong Khong and Tha Khun Nang to Wat Mae Nang Plum.
 See "The Boat & Ferry Landings of Ayutthaya".
Wat Song was located in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 57.97" N, 100° 34' 20.67"
 The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya – Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 24 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph.
 The Chao Phya River in Transition - Steve Van Beek (1995).
 The study of Chantharakasem Palace for developing the Management Plan - Nantana
 Athibai Phaenthi Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya kap khamwinitjai khong Phraya Boran
Racha Thanin - 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 92.
|Text & map by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2009
Reviewed May 2011, July 2015
|(Detail of a 19th century map - map is orientated S-N)
|(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
|(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)