Claverton Pumping Station
Water supply to the western end of John Rennie's marvellous achievement - the Kennet & Avon Canal - was always going to be the main engineering challenge. Rennie's two ground-breaking solutions, here at Claverton (1813) and also at Crofton (1809), are still working to this day. Both have been restored and are open to the public, operated by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust.
The Claverton Pumping Station uses an unusual waterwheel-powered beam engine to raise water some 50 feet from the River Avon to the level of the canal. The Pumping Station is open to the public Sundays & Wednesdays April-October. However, 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 Claverton Pump is no longer vital for maintaining the water supply.
If you do want to see the pump in action, it does operate on a dozen or so days a year. Phone for dates: children must be accompanied.