Building record M2063 - Bestwood Pumping Station


PUMPING STATION (Victorian to Late 20th Century)


Grid reference Centred SK 57923 48248 (37m by 49m)
Map sheet SK54NE
District Gedling
Civil Parish Bestwood Park (G), Gedling


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Pumping station, built 1873. Fabric of very robust design and maintained in excellent condition. The building is of red brick with stone facings. Generally the design is typical of good class waterworks practice in the mid Victorian era. An unusual feature is the chimney, which is situated near the centre of the building and is encased in an outer shaft. Between these shafts is a stairway giving access to the basement of the pumphouse as well as to its 3 floors and to the boiler tops, and finally to a landing near the top of the chimney, which has a height of 142ft and is square in plan. 6 Lancashire or double flue boilers provide steam for 2 single cylinder rotative beam engines (--/09/1964). (2)
The architect is unrecorded … [but] was probably Hawksley. Hawksley was Nottingham's water engineer from 1852 to 1880. (5)
It … contained two Cornish engines which were scrapped in 1968. (6)
Constructed by the Nottingham Water Works Company (who also constructed the now demolished Basford Pumping Station in the mid-1850s). The Company policy involved the construction of works which were an ornament to the area, making the site of a functional utility an object of aesthetic pleasure and beauty. The site chosen…was on the NE edge of Bestwood Park estate, owned by the Duke of St Albans, and was at the time occupied by farmland. A rectangular piece of land of 6.6 acres was acquired from the Duke of St Albans. This agreement was concluded in 1870 and work on the building the new pumping station began in the autumn of that year. The water was obtained from twin wells or pumping shafts 176 feet deep, linked by drift ways, or horizontal levels. The water was pumped by a pair of Cornish rotative beam engines, built by Joseph Witham & Son of Leeds and installed in 1873, the year the pumping station opened. The steam engines were housed in a remarkable building which was designed to bb …of the highest quality. The coming together, in a mode of perfect harmony, of the aesthetics of art and design and the power and might of industry in a way which served the common good twice over, as a visual ornament and the provider of a basic and utilitarian necessity, the pure water for the city.
The building comprises a large engine house, of red brick with stone facings and a variety of elegant and imaginative ornamental features both internally and externally. Despite the removal of the steam engines in 1968 the interior retains the scale and grandeur of the original design, with the massive yet ornate cast-iron supporting columns.
The balance of opinion is that Thomas Hawksley probably had overall responsibly for the design, but it is possible that much of the detailed work was undertaken by his son Arthur. The Duke of St Albans had a hand in the design. One of the conditions of the land deal had been that he should approve of the building design. Bestwood differed from earlier Pumping Stations such as the earlier work at Basford and later at Papplewick in that it’s 142 feet tall chimney was concealed and disguised as a huge campanile - a decorative tower topped by a cupola. Possibly included to satisfy the aesthetic requirements of the Duke. (8)

Data Held (Document). SNT2647.

Sketch, IS card

Data Held (Document). SNT2647.

(4), Ind Arch File

Data Held: Aerial Photograph (Aerial photograph). SNT2645.

DNR 1297/17

Data Held: Ground Photograph (Ground photograph). SNT2646.

14 BW print, SMR

Listed buildings slides, 5 slides (Photograph). SNT2648.

<1> AEM, --/03/1970, Architecture East Midlands, no 29 (Published document). SNT111.

<1> Gedling Borough Council, 1991, Gedling's Heritage, 31 (Published document). SNT1552.

<2> CBA, Industrial Survey (Published document). SNT184.

Other Refs: IA4 8/1

<3> Smith DM, 1965, The Industrial Archaeology of the East Midlands, p 234 (Published document). SNT1304.

Other Refs: ill p 217

<4> Reedman K, 1977, Pers Comm (Personal comment). SNT1180.

<5> Pevsner N, 1979, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire 2nd ed., p 73 (Monograph). SNT4.

<6> Palmer M & Neaverson P, 1992, Industrial Landscapes of the East Midlands, p 111 (Monograph). SNT5.

<7> Thoroton Society, 1968, TTS, p 3 (Published document). SNT381.

<8> CPR Consultants, 1999, Bestwood Pumping Station-Landscape History (Unpublished document). SNT5580.

Sources/Archives (14)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Data Held: Aerial Photograph.
  • --- Ground photograph: Data Held: Ground Photograph.
  • --- Document: Data Held.
  • --- Document: Data Held.
  • --- Photograph: Listed buildings slides. 5 slides.
  • <1> Published document: AEM. --/03/1970. Architecture East Midlands. no 29.
  • <1> Published document: Gedling Borough Council. 1991. Gedling's Heritage. 31.
  • <2> Published document: CBA. Industrial Survey.
  • <3> Published document: Smith DM. 1965. The Industrial Archaeology of the East Midlands. p 234.
  • <4> Personal comment: Reedman K. 1977. Pers Comm.
  • <5> Monograph: Pevsner N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire 2nd ed.. Penguin. p 73.
  • <6> Monograph: Palmer M & Neaverson P. 1992. Industrial Landscapes of the East Midlands. Phillimore & Co Ltd. p 111.
  • <7> Published document: Thoroton Society. 1968. TTS. 72. p 3.
  • <8> Unpublished document: CPR Consultants. 1999. Bestwood Pumping Station-Landscape History.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Apr 15 2024 6:32PM

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