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Report - Whitley Pumping Station, Coventry, August 2009


Conquistador d'Wolverton
28DL Full Member
Hey guys,

Today I went on a solo visit to the old pumping station in Whitley, Coventry.


There has been a pump station on the site since 1846, there remains no trace of this original building today.
The main building we see today was designed by the famous public waterworks architect Thomas Hawksley and built in 1893. Hawksley died in 1893 just before the pump station at Coventry was built, however the building is an almost identical copy of the Dalton Pumping Station in Sunderland 1873-79. There were a few differences: the boiler house, external render and the interior design. The building is characteristic of the gothic revival design, Hawksley being a big fan of John Ruskin.

For more information on Hawksley’s designs, visit:
http://www.pureandconstant.talktalk.net/chapter_4.htm#Fig 14

The pumping station was built to house two beam engines and pump water from the river Sowe to a reservoir in order to supply the city of Coventry with clean water.

The pumping station was commissioned by the City of Coventry Corporation in 1893, and the coat-of-arms of the city can be seen above the main entrance.

The site also consisted of a lodge house, built at the same time, also in the redbrick and stone style of the gothic revival.


The site now lies abandoned, with some of the original buildings demolished. The lodge suffered extensive fire damage a few years ago however it and the main pumping station are Grade II listed.
There are plans to redevelop the main pumping station into the centrepiece of an apartment complex. The plans were submitted in 2007, however little progress has been made. The planning committee report of the site can be found at:


Anyway the pictures:

The lodge:




The main pumping house:

Hawksley's station in Sunderland:

The city's coat-of-arms above the main entrance:


Inside, showing where the two beam engines would have sat:


The proposal for the appartments:



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