Crofton Pumping Station, Crofton, Marlborough SN8 3DW
Crofton Pumping Station is located on the banks of the Kennet & Avon Canal, south of Swindon in the village of Crofton. A relic of the area’s industrial past, Croton Beam Engines is a volunteer-run museum and visitor centre.
The station was built in 1809 to supply water to the highest point of the Kennet & Avon Canal which links London and Bristol. It is a rare survivor of the technology which enabled British engineers to drain mines and supply towns and cities with water throughout the world.
At Crofton Beam Engines, you can get a hand-on experience and discover the rich industrial history hidden in the Wiltshire countryside. It provides an insight into how pioneering engineers tackled some of the most technical challenges of the day.
Crofton Beam Engines has recently undergone National Lottery Heritage Fund supported conservation and visitor facility improvement work. From summer 2019, you can explore all-new displays and an interactive history of the station.
Crofton Beam Engines also offers a unique day’s “Steam Experience”. Accompanied by an experienced escort, you can light and stoke the boiler, work with the Duty Engineer and discover areas not normally seen by the public. You will prepare engines for steaming, and finally take control of the oldest, working beam engine in the world.
After all that steam pumping excitement, you can recharge at the Engineman’s Rest Café. In addition to homemade snacks and drinks, the café offers a taste of local flavour. They have teamed up with a number of local producers, including a local brewery, pie maker, cider farm and a family butcher to give you a real taste of Wiltshire.
Crofton Beam Engines is open from April to October, Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays. It is easy to get to from car, rail, bike and even canal boat!