Swanbourne Pump



Gallery - Swanbourne Pump House, Arundel

Drawings of Swanbourne Pump House
(to be re-linked)

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Swanbourne Lake Pump house (Arundel) 
Tony Baxter

By the combined efforts of the Arundel Castle Estates and SIAS the 1846 pump house has been restored The machinery - two sets of triple vertical force pumps made by Stothert and Pitt of Bath driven by a turbine and installed in c.1900 - has been cleaned. There is a viewing gallery with information boards.

The pump house is now open to the public. It is located within the compound of the Swanbourne, Fishpond, which is a commercial venture allowing the public to feed the young trout. This is not an ideal arrangement but is the price that has to be paid for a degree of security and to allow the pump house to be unmanned when open. The entrance to the Fishpond is immediately to the North of the bridge at GR TQ 019077. The public are charged 40p to go in - which includes a bag of fish food! - but members of SIAS can enter free on production of their membership cards.

The opening days are somewhat erratic but are generally geared to school holidays. The owners aim to open every weekend and bank holiday throughout the year and every day during all school half-terms and holidays - though this depends very much on the weather which therefore tends to restrict winter openings. The opening times are from about 11am to about 6 pm. If the weather seems doubtful it is best to telephone the owners beforehand - The Chalk Springs Fishery, 01903 883742.

Special IA visits by small parties can be arranged by contacting either 
Michael Palmer (01903 505626) or
Tony Baxter (01903 201002).

This article is from newsletter No. 111 July 2001

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Swanborne Lake Pumphouse, Arundel - Official Opening, 21st June 2001
Tony Baxter
It may seem a bit cart-before-the-horse for this short account of the official opening of the pump house to be published three months after the announcement in the last Newsletter of its general opening to the public. The short answer is that whilst the latter was certain the former was not! The need for fine weather was of course a critical factor as was the presence of Lord Arundel - fortunately both were available on the day. The SIAS was represented by our President and Chairman together with the 'workers' - Alan Brown, Peter Holtham, Ron Martin, Michael Palmer and myself. Local people connected with the project also came to witness the great event. Shortly after midday, with our glasses suitably charged, Sir Freddie Sowrey, our President, opened the proceedings and then invited Lord Arundel to declare the pump house officially open by the cutting of the tape with a pair of sharp scissors. This was achieved with consummate skill and those present were then free tc inspect the premises and machinery from the public viewing platform, aided by the information boards which described both the history and technical operation. Prominently located was the donations box which on examination after everyone had left was found to contain one 2 coin - our thanks to the unknown donor for being the first to help reduce the pump house's debt! So ended an historic day; and effectively a very long gestation period which had begun in 1973 when John Haselfoot and Michael Palmer had visited the site and had declared it capable of restoration - some time after they did the same thing at the Coultershaw Beam Pump which in the event beat Swanbourne to it by 21 years!

This article is from newsletter No. 112 October  2001

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This article is from the archived Newsletter No. 2 April 1974 :-

A.J. Haselfoot. 
There is an interesting old water pumping station near Swanbourne Lake on the Duke of Norfolk's Estate at Arundel, at TQ01810774. This comprises a vertical-shaft, reaction type water turbine driving, through double-reduction gears, two three-throw force pumps which originally pumped water up to a reservoir about 200 yards away on the adjacent hill to supply the town of Arundel. The date, 1844, was carved on a part of the reservoir wall, which makes the installation a comparatively early one for a water turbine drive.
The building housing the turbine and pumps, which has been roofless for some 10 years, has a distinctly ecclesiastical appearance. Fig. I shows the upstream side and part of the head-pond fed from Swanbourne Lake; the bypass sluice and the trash-rack in front of the turbine inlet sluice can also be seen. Fig.2 shows the downstream side, the tail-pond (tidal and nearly dry in the photograph) and the discharge openings of the bypass and turbine outlet sluices. The head of water is about 10' at low tide.
Fig. 3 shows the bevel drive from the turbine, and the two lay-shafts; while Fig. 4 shows one of the pumps and the wooden-toothed final spur-wheel of the double reduction gearing. As the machinery is nearly all of cast iron with bronze bushes it is in remarkably good condition after 10 years exposure to the weather. The turbine ,'being completely drowned in the tail-race, is probably still in excellent condition. I understand that the pumps have been turned over by hand within the last two years. There is no maker's name on the machinery and unfortunately all records and drawings of the equipment appear to have been lost or destroyed.
The water supply arrangements, as shown on a drawing of 1895, are of particular interest. One of the pumps is supplied by a suction pipe from the head-pond but the other is fed by a suction pipe from an old well (now disused), which is laid
in a spacious culvert for about 40 yards. This has a plentiful supply of water running down it which enters the culvert from some unknown source and, running through the basement of the pump-house, discharges into the tail-pond. The future of the installation is uncertain at present but it does not seem to be deteriorating seriously

Figs 1 to 4 - Swanbourne Pump House

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Last modified: March 28, 2017