Nottingham Water Supply

1- Water for Life: The Development of Nottingham’s Water Provision
2- Fresh water for Nottingham: Going Underground
3- A need for greater supply - Papplewick Pumping Station
4- Life at Papplewick
5- The modern Pumping Station
6- The continuing search for water


Fresh water for Nottingham: Going Underground

With Nottingham's rivers and streams becoming more polluted, Thomas Hawksley turned to the water contained in the sandstone beds beneath the town. Acting as a filter and a sponge, the sandstone (now known as Sherwood sandstone) was a natural reservoir containing vast quantities of very pure water; an ideal supply for the growing town.

Between 1850 and 1880 the Water Works Company built a series of pumping stations and reservoirs, most of which are still used today: - click the thumbnails for further images

Zion Hill (Park Works) Pumping Station

Opened in 1850 at the top of Nottingham’s Rope Walk.
x1 Hathorn Davey non-rotative Cornish beam engine
2 wells, depth 240ft (73m)
Approximately 900,000 gallons daily
Closed in 1895.

Zion Hill Pumping Station

Bagthorpe (Basford) Pumping Station

Opened in 1857 on the corner of Hydn & Hucknall road.
x2 Woolf compound beam engines
x1 Hawks, Crawshay & Co beam engine (added 1868)
3 wells, depth 112ft (34m)
Up to 1.1 million gallons (5 megalitres) pumped daily
Electrified in 1963. One engine preserved at Wollaton Park Industrial Museum.

Bagthorpe Pumping Station

Bestwood Pumping Station

Opened in 1871 allowing Scotholme, Castle and Trent works to be closed.
x2 J.Witham & Sons beam engines
2 wells, depth 186ft (56m)
Approximately 0.9 million gallons (4 megalitres) pumped daily
Electrified in 1966

Bestwood Pumping Station

Belle Vue Reservoir

Small reservoir opened in 1850, large reservoir 1863.
Total capacity 2.2 million gallons (10.2 megalitres).

Belle Vue Pumping Station

Mapperley Hill Reservoir

Original reservoir built in 1859.
Capacity 0.3 million gallons (1.3 megalitres)
Second reservoir built in 1884
Capacity 1.6 million gallons (7.3 megalitres).

 

Redhill Reservoir

Original reservoir built in 1872.
Capacity 2 million gallons (9 megalitres)
Second reservoir built in 1953
Capacity 3.8 million gallons (17.3 megalitres).

 

Papplewick Reservoir

Opened in 1880.
Capacity 1.5 million gallons (6.9 megalitres)
Closed in 1906 due to subsidence. The reservoir is now completely drained and guided tours of the interior are provided by the Papplewick Pumping Station Trust.

To read more click for Nottingham Corporation Water Department Steam Pumping Stations

Papplewick Pumping Station reservoir
Heritage Lottery fund supported
Papplewick Pumping Station is an Accredited museum
Quality assured visitor attraction