Papplewick Pumping Station, Papplewick

Historic Site · Tourist Spot
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Papplewick Pumping Station, situated in open agricultural land approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) by road from the Nottinghamshire village of Papplewick, was built by Nottingham Corporation Water Department between 1881 and 1884 to pump water from the Bunter sandstone to provide drinking water to the City of Nottingham, in England. Two beam engines, supplied with steam by six Lancashire boilers, were housed in Gothic Revival buildings. Apart from changes to the boiler grates, the equipment remained in its original form until the station was decommissioned in 1969, when it was replaced by four submersible electric pumps.

A Trust was formed in 1974 to conserve the site as a static museum, but the plans soon developed to include the refurbishment and regular steaming of the engines. One of the beam engines was operated in 1975, using the only boiler that was certified to be safe at the time. Since then, the second engine has been reconditioned, and both are 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 of £1.6 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund. As well as the beam engines, the site houses several other engines, which are also demonstrated on steaming days.
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Papplewick Pumping Station reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
203 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Well worth coming to visit on one of the steaming days. As well as the huge pumping beam engines there is also a colliery winding engine and other working steam exhibits. Nice cafe and staff very... 
    Well worth coming to visit on one of the steaming days. As well as the huge pumping beam engines there is also a colliery winding engine and other working steam exhibits. Nice cafe and staff very...  more »
  • Great day out and a lovely bit of history. The underground Pumpherston and its hidden structure is amazing to see. Its huge underground and really worth the visit which is £3 per person and separate.....  more
    Great day out and a lovely bit of history. The underground Pumpherston and its hidden structure is amazing to see. Its huge underground and really worth the visit which is £3 per person and separate.....  more »
  • I'm a mile or so from this and I have never visited, I am shamefully ashamed of this! Its brilliant for a picnic, morning walk or just generally a look around. The mini ride on railway was my boys... 
    I'm a mile or so from this and I have never visited, I am shamefully ashamed of this! Its brilliant for a picnic, morning walk or just generally a look around. The mini ride on railway was my boys...  more »
Google
  • A great place! Very interesting indeed. Also were able to go underground to the Victorian Reservoir. Incredible high quality architecture, especially when you consider its function, so no one would ever see it! One criticism, was it really necessary to have a live band there, ruined the whole atmosphere, especially as it was so near the main building. It could even be heard inside over the steam engine.
  • A cathedral to steam powered engineering and water supply innovation. The pumping station is regularly in steam with the original majestic Boulton and Watt steam engines in action. The station has a collection of other engines salvaged and preserved from other works and factories that are lovingly tended and kept in working order by a team of volunteers. The station also has a now disused underground reservoir that was used to supply drinking water to the people of Nottingham. This is a great place to visit for engineering buffs and families.
  • An absolutely sounding example of Victorian architecture and engineering. Fully working and fascinating to see. Make sure that it's "in steam" Brilliant for kids and adults alike
  • A excellent example of victorian engineering that the whole family can enjoy. Go on a 'steam day' to see the pumps in operation and you won't be disappointed. Make sure you also visit the disused underground reservoir.
  • Well worth a visit but go when it's a steam day and everything is in operation. The pump house is a fascinating example of Victorian obsession with making a grandiose statement. Free parking over the road. If you pay ten quid your ticket lasts for 12 months and gives you entry to all the steam days. And more importantly it helps this conservation charity which is run by volunteers. The 1940s weekend is our favourite so far.

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