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
fortifications.

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. [1]

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". [2]  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.[3]

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.
[4] See "
The Boat & Ferry Landings of Ayutthaya".

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya – Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 24 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph.
[2] The Chao Phya River in Transition - Steve Van Beek (1995).
[3] The study of Chantharakasem Palace for developing the Management Plan - Nantana
Hengpujaroen (2003).
[4] 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 92.
Text & map by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2009
Reviewed May 2011
(Extract of a 19th century map)