In 1614 a joint enterprise of the university and the town of Cambridge brought a supply of running water into the town from springs at Great Shelford. Thomas Hobson, the carrier (1544 to 1630) was the benefactor of the scheme and for that reason the watercourse became known as 'Hobsons Conduit'
This monument marks the end of the artificial watercourse from this point the water runs in culverts to re-appear in runnels in Trumpington Street and Saint Andrews Street other culverts feed ponds in certain of The colleges
From 1614 to 1956 the monument stood upon Market Hill where it served as a Fountain, in the latter year following the provision of a piped supply of water by the Cambridge water company the Fountain was moved to this site it was reconditioned in 1967.
The plaque was erected by the Hobsons Conduit trustees and unveiled by the Mayor of Cambridge counsellor M N Bradford J.P. on 25 April 1967.