Posted on 18th January 2016 / 967
Industry Type : Transport
Power Type : Steam
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Restored

Crofton Beam Engines are the oldest working steam engines in the world still performing the job they were built to do!  

There are two beam engines, one of which is an original 200-year-old Boulton & Watt!

Both are fed by a hand-stoked, coal-fired Lancashire boiler.

Crofton Pumping Station was built in 1807 and the first engine installed in the building, which had a wooden beam  began working in 1809. It was a 0.9 m (36 inch) bore Boulton and Watt.

In 1812 it was accompanied by a 1.06 m (42 inch) bore Boulton and Watt engine.

The need for this pumping station was because of the Kennet & Avon canal. The first design, by the awesome engineer, John Rennie, called for a 4.5 km (2.5 mile) tunnel but a cheaper alternative was required! So they raised the summit level of the canal and constructed a much shorter tunnel. However, this new summit was 12 m (40 ft) higher than any reliable local, natural water source and so a pumping station was needed at Crofton to keep it topped-up.

It was estimated that this scheme saved £41,000 (equivalent these days to about to about £8,000,000) in the cost of canal construction, a very substantial saving.

Eventually in 1846, the 0.9 m bore Boulton and Watt was replaced by a Sims ‘Combined Cylinders’ Engine, constructed by Harvey of Hayle.  

The Lancashire boiler was installed second-hand in 1986 to replace the 1905 boiler supplied by the Great Western Railway’s Swindon works. It came from a Will’s tobacco factory in Bristol.

The engine house is set in unspoiled Wiltshire countryside close to the old market town of Marlborough.

Both the 1812 Boulton and Watt, and the 1846 Harvey engine are in working condition, and are steamed publicly  throughout the summer from a coal-fired Lancashire boiler. Check out their website for additional information HERE!

They also have some interesting stationary engines and plenty of information.

 

Crofton Pumping Station, Crofton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 3DW.

Crofton Beam Engines

Crofton Beam Engines are the oldest working steam engines in the world still performing the job they were built to do!  

There are two beam engines, one of which is an original 200-year-old Boulton & Watt!

Both are fed by a hand-stoked, coal-fired Lancashire boiler.

Crofton Pumping Station was built in 1807 and the first engine installed in the building, which had a wooden beam  began working in 1809. It was a 0.9 m (36 inch) bore Boulton and Watt.

In 1812 it was accompanied by a 1.06 m (42 inch) bore Boulton and Watt engine.

The need for this pumping station was because of the Kennet & Avon canal. The first design, by the awesome engineer, John Rennie, called for a 4.5 km (2.5 mile) tunnel but a cheaper alternative was required! So they raised the summit level of the canal and constructed a much shorter tunnel. However, this new summit was 12 m (40 ft) higher than any reliable local, natural water source and so a pumping station was needed at Crofton to keep it topped-up.

It was estimated that this scheme saved £41,000 (equivalent these days to about to about £8,000,000) in the cost of canal construction, a very substantial saving.

Eventually in 1846, the 0.9 m bore Boulton and Watt was replaced by a Sims ‘Combined Cylinders’ Engine, constructed by Harvey of Hayle.  

The Lancashire boiler was installed second-hand in 1986 to replace the 1905 boiler supplied by the Great Western Railway’s Swindon works. It came from a Will’s tobacco factory in Bristol.

The engine house is set in unspoiled Wiltshire countryside close to the old market town of Marlborough.

Both the 1812 Boulton and Watt, and the 1846 Harvey engine are in working condition, and are steamed publicly  throughout the summer from a coal-fired Lancashire boiler. Check out their website for additional information HERE!

They also have some interesting stationary engines and plenty of information.

 

Crofton Pumping Station, Crofton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 3DW.

Crofton Beam Engines
Industry Type : Transport
Power Type : Steam
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Restored
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