Claverton Pumping Station

Claverton Pumping Station

Claverton Pumping Station is a pumping station, located in the village of Claverton in the English county of Somerset, which pumps water from the River Avon to the Kennet and Avon Canal using power from the flow of the River Avon.

It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building.


At Claverton the canal is cut into the side of the Avon valley 48 ft (14.6 m) above the river. The pumping station is located in a pump house built of Bath Stone, located at river level. Water is diverted from the river by Warleigh Weir, about 200 yd (180 m) upstream. The water flows down a leat to the pumping station, where it powers a water wheel, 24 ft (7.3 m) wide and 17 ft (5.2 m) in diameter, with 48 wooden slats. At full power the wheel uses 2 tons (2 tonnes) of water per second and rotates five times a minute.

The water wheel drives gearing which increases the speed to 16 rpm. From here, cranks drive vertical connecting rods which transfer the energy to two 18 ft (5.5 m) long cast iron rocking beams. Each rocking beam in turn drives an 18 in (0.5 m) diameter lift pump, which also take their supply from the mill leat. Each pump stroke raises 50 imperial gallons (230 litres) of water to the canal.


The pumping station was built by John Rennie and worked continuously from 1813 until 1952. It then lay derelict until restored by a group of volunteers from the University of Bath and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. It was re-opened in 1978.

In 1981, British Waterways installed two electric pumps just upstream from the station and presented the diesel pump to the Kennet and Avon Canal trust for preservation.

There is a working model of the pumping station at the Kennet and Avon museum at Devizes.


The pumping station is open to the public and the website below provides details.

See also


External links

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