This image can be used commercially
Sion Hill Waterworks, Pumping Station, Ropewalk, Nottingham, 1950s ?
About this image
The new Trent Waterworks Company opened its works near to the present Town Arms at Trent Bridge in 1831. This was a remarkable system, the first in the country to provide a supply at constant high pressure so preventing contamination from entering the mains, was constructed under supervision of its designer, the Company Engineer, Thomas Hawksley, then 25 years old. Water flowed through brick filter tunnels laid in the gravel beds on the north side of the river into a reservoir adjoining the pumping station. From there it was pumped by a 40 HP rotative beam engine to a new reservoir built on the corner of Park Row and the Ropewalk. Parts of this 15 inch cast-iron water main between the pumping station and the reservoir remain in service today. In 1845 the Nottingham Enclosure Act to was passed to enabling the town to expand rapidly on to surrounding lands. In the same year, the Nottingham Water Act amalgamated the existing small companies into one Nottingham Waterworks Company. With the rivers and the Scotholme spring's becoming increasingly polluted Hawksley, now Engineer to the new Company, turned for his supply to the sandstone beds on which Nottingham is built. Some 20 per cent of the Bunter Sandstone's volume is made up of interconnected spaces so enabling it to act both as an effective filter and sponge, storing vast quantities of pure water. The company initially built three Pumping Stations on the sandstone: Park Works (1850) is seen here, which used a 60 HP Cornish Beam engine to pump from two 240 ft deep wells; Bagthorpe (Basford) opened in 1857 and was enlarged in 1868 and Bestwood was opened in 1871. Park Works closed in 1895 although the Engine House still stands at the Derby Road end of the Ropewalk. Water was stored in the Park Row reservoir together with a further four built by the Company: Belle Vue (1850); Mapperley Hill (1859); Red Hill (1871) and Papplewick (1881-5).