Crofton Pumping Station

Water supply to the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal was the main engineering challenge facing engineer John Rennie. His two ground-breaking solutions, here at Crofton (1809) and also at Claverton (1813), remain in use to this day. Both pumping stations have been restored and are open to the public, operated by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust.

The Crofton Beam Engines at Crofton Locks Summit near Wilton are a masterpiece, using two steam pumps to lift water 40 feet to the canal. These engines, built in 1812 and 1845, are among the world's oldest working steam beam engines. The Crofton Pumping Station site includes a gift shop, tea rooms and picnic area. Following a successful £1m fund-raising campaign by the K&A Trust, a new back-pumping scheme to recycle water has largely solved the water shortages and the Crofton Pumps are no longer vital for maintaining the water supply. However, there are a number of 'live steam' days at Crofton - phone for dates.

The pretty village of Wilton is a half-mile footpath walk away from the Crofton Station. Here there is a pub and also the fully restored Wilton Windmill, which is open to the public and produces its own wholemeal flour.

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Water supply to the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal was the main engineering challenge facing engineer John Rennie. His two ground-breaking solutions, here at Crofton (1809) and also at Claverton (1813), remain in use to this day. Both pumping stations have been restored and are open to the public, operated by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust. The Crofton Beam Engines at Crofton Locks Summit near Wilton are a masterpiece, using two steam pumps to lift water 40 feet to the canal. These engines, built in 1812 and 1845, are among the world's oldest working steam beam engines. The Crofton Pumping Station site includes a gift shop, tea rooms and picnic area. Following a successful £1m fund-raising campaign by the K&A Trust, a new back-pumping scheme to recycle water has largely solved the water shortages and the Crofton Pumps are no longer vital for maintaining the water supply. However, there are a number of 'live steam' days at Crofton - phone for dates. The pretty village of Wilton is a half-mile footpath walk away from the Crofton Station. Here there is a pub and also the fully restored Wilton Windmill, which is open to the public and produces its own wholemeal flour.