Possibly Britain’s finest Victorian Water Works and the only one in the Midlands to be preserved as a complete working fresh water pumping station. Papplewick Pumping Station was built by Nottingham Corporation Water Department between 1881 and 1884 to supplement the water supply for the growing city.
In the main building there are the two massive beam pumping engines, thought to be the last built by the famous firm of James Watt & Co of Soho Works, Birmingham and London. These 140hp engines, supplied with steam by six Lancashire boilers, lifted water from the 200 foot deep well and pumped it up to the covered reservoir on the hill behind the station.
The steam engines worked for 85 years but were replaced by electric pumps fitted into the pilot well near the main gate in 1969.
The beam engines are housed in Gothic revival style buildings and both are still steamed several times a year. New visitor facilities were built in 1991 and a major restoration of the structures was completed in 2005, following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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