Westonzoyland Pumping Station
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The oldest Somerset Levels drainage pump still in working order
In 1830 a mechanical pumping station was built at Westonzoyland to drain the nearby marshland of the Somerset Levels. So successful was the experiment at Westonzoyland that other pumping stations were soon built at other locations around the Levels.
In 1861 a steam engine was installed to drive a new pump. This is the only working steam-driven pump on the Levels still in working order and in its original location. At the same time a small keeper's cottage was erected beside the pumping station. Next to the cottage is a low building housing a steam boiler. The current boiler is a 1914 Lancashire model. Beside the boiler is a forge, where the keeper made many of his own tools to keep the pump running.
The original pump was powered by a beam engine and scoop wheel, which worked well for 25 years, but as the water levels dropped on the Levels, this arrangement proved inefficient. So in 1861 a new pump, built by the London firm of Easton and Amos was erected. This two cylinder engine drives a centrifugal pump, which raised water from the rhyne (drainage channel) and emptied into the River Parrett to be drained away. This system was used until 1951 until a change in river level and a new system of connected water channels made it obsolete.
In 1976 a local charity group bought the station and restored the equipment to working order. In addition, they brought together a collection of pumping equipment from around Somerset, including steam and diesel engines. The oldest dates to the early 19th century, and most have been restored to full working order. The engines are fired up on regular steam days throughout the year.
Aside from the original pumping house, collection of steam engines and associated equimpent, visitors can also see two of the ground floor rooms of the keeper's cottage. The living area is furnished as it might have looked in the 1930s, and the kitchen holds a number of smaller objects in display cases.
About Westonzoyland Pumping Station
Address: Hoopers Lane, Westonzoyland, nr Bridgwater, Somerset, England, TA7 0LS
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: one mile from Westonzoyland towards Burrowbridge
Website: Westonzoyland Pumping Station
Phone: 01278 691595
Photo Credit: Christine Johnstone, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Burrow Mump - 1.9 miles (Countryside)
Sutton Mallet Church - 3.1 miles (Historic Church)
Blake Museum - 3.6 miles (Museum)
Burton Pynsent Monument - 5.3 miles (Historic Building)
Stembridge Windmill - 5.5 miles (Historic Building)
Curry Rivel, St Andrew's Church - 5.6 miles (Historic Church)
Langport, All Saints Church - 6.3 miles (Historic Church)
Hestercombe Gardens - 6.8 miles (Garden)
Nearest Accommodation to Westonzoyland Pumping Station:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')