Whitley Pumping Station and Lodge
The main pumping station building that we see today was designed by the famous public waterworks architect Thomas Hawksley and built in 1893. It is an almost identical copy of the Dalton Pumping Station in Sunderland 1873-79.
The building is characteristic of the gothic revival design, Hawksley being a big fan of John Ruskin.
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 currently 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.
Most of the photos below are courtesy of the Whitley Local History Group
Andrew Parsons: I am researching the personnel of the pumping station at Claymills, Burton Upon Trent and note that one of the fitters at Claymills during the 1890’s, Samuel Toon, became the engineer in charge
at Whitley by 1911.
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