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The engine house

The tops of the pistons

Papplewick Pumping Station, near the Nottinghamshire village of Papplewick, was built by Nottingham Corporation Water Department between 1881 and 1885 to pump water from the Bunter sandstone layer aquifer to provide drinking water to the City of Nottingham in England.


The pumping station was designed by Marriott Ogle Tarbotton.[1] The building has outstanding cast iron fittings and stained glass windows.[2] They were paid for out of money left over after the construction of the building came in under budget.[1] The total cost of construction was £55,000 (£4,403,333 as of 2022).[3]

Facts and figures

  • A pair of Engines built by James Watts and Co, Birmingham
  • 3,000,000 gallons water capacity per day
  • 6 Lancashire boilers provided the steam
  • Consume 5¼ tons of coal per day
  • Replaced by Electric bore hole pumpes


Papplewick Pumping Station is the only one in the Midlands which has been preserved as a complete pumping station in full working order. It was restored from 1975 onwards and opened formally on 8 June 2005 by The Duke of Gloucester.

The pumping station is open to the general public as a museum.[4]

Other exhibits

The site also houses several other items of related industrial heritage.

  • A Robey & Co of Lincoln steam powered colliery winder from the nearby Lindby collery that supplied the coal.
  • A Steam pump from Stanton Iron works
  • 2 steam driven generator sets
  • A Narrow gauge railway
  • A Forge and steam powered workshop
  • Educational demonstration machines to illustrate some of the principles of how items in the pumping station work.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Halstead, Robin (2007). Far from the Sodding Crowd. Penguin books, 15. ISBN 9780718149666. 
  3. UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Lawrence H. Officer (2010) "What Were the UK Earnings and Prices Then?" MeasuringWorth.
  4. Papplewick Pumping Station website

External links

Coordinates: 53°03′49″N 1°07′49″W / 53.0636°N 1.1304°W / 53.0636; -1.1304

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