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Former Hopwas Pumping Station (Spruce House, Cedar House and Holly House) and front boundary wall

A Grade II Listed Building in Wigginton and Hopwas, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.6421 / 52°38'31"N

Longitude: -1.7474 / 1°44'50"W

OS Eastings: 417186

OS Northings: 304957

OS Grid: SK171049

Mapcode National: GBR 4FB.90V

Mapcode Global: WHCGX.4V4C

Entry Name: Former Hopwas Pumping Station (Spruce House, Cedar House and Holly House) and front boundary wall

Listing Date: 16 October 1986

Last Amended: 19 March 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1374312

English Heritage Legacy ID: 272834

Location: Wigginton and Hopwas, Lichfield, Staffordshire, B78

County: Staffordshire

District: Lichfield

Civil Parish: Wigginton and Hopwas

Built-Up Area: Hopwas

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Tamworth St Editha

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Former water pumping station, built in 1879 for Tamworth Waterworks, later taken over by South Staffordshire Waterworks and then converted to residential use, including the front wall, but excluding the modern garden walls and garages.


Former water pumping station, built in 1879 for Tamworth Waterworks, later taken over by South Staffordshire Waterworks and then converted to residential use, including the front wall, but excluding the modern garden walls and garages.

MATERIALS: English-bond red brick with sandstone dressings and slate roofs with coped verges.

PLAN: a rectangular plan with three parallel ranges aligned north-south, facing south.

EXTERIOR: the 1879 pumping station has a single-bay, gable-end, two-storey former beam engine house with an attic and basement. On either side of the gable are giant clasping corner pilasters that are rusticated to the ground floor. The gable is topped by a pediment supported by a modillion cornice with angled bricks and containing a keyed oculus. A twin flight of steps, on a semi-circular arch and with cast iron balustrades, leads up the central two-leaf door topped by a bracketed pediment. The first floor contains a Venetian window with moulded brick arch, bases and imposts, and iron glazing bars. The left return has four bays, articulated by pilasters, a first-floor plat band and a cornice. The basement level has segmental-arched windows with angled brick cills; the ground and first-floor windows are round-arched with stone cills, imposts and keys. To the rear, the first floor and pediment match the front elevation. Below is a cat-slide outshut (a former workshop). The lean-to roof has been subdivided and there is a rear door in the middle at roof level, which is connected to a metal walkway that leads to the raised rear garden. On the basement level are two round-arched windows and a rear entrance. Only the first floor is visible on the engine house’s east elevation (the fenestration matches the left return). Two matching single-storey ranges (the former boiler house and store) are attached to this elevation. They have coped moulded gables with ball finials and paired round-arched windows with imposts beneath keyed oculi. A C21 gable porch, in a similar style to the rest of the building, has been added to the front of the ranges. The side return has three bays. The left bay has been rendered and contains a modern multi-pane opening. The other two bays have keyed three-centre arched lunettes with glazing bars. The pitched roofs are topped by raised louvered ridges. The rear elevations both contain large keyed oculi and rear access. The eastern bay has an attached flat felt-roof extension.

INTERIOR: the twin beam engines have been removed and the building divided into three dwellings: Spruce House (the former beam engine house); Cedar House (the former boiler house) and Holly House (the former store). The roof constructions survive, including the shaped cornices and king post timber roof in the former beam engine house. The C21 internal partitions, and contemporary fixtures and fittings that have been added as part of the domestic conversion* are not of special interest.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the front of the former station is a recently-restored decorative, English-bond red-brick boundary wall, built in 17 sections divided by brick piers that consist of a tall plinth topped by a blind balustrade with stone copping. A water pump attached to the wall has also recently been restored.
To the rear of the former pumping station are brick garden walls and two modern brick garages that are excluded from the listing.
* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the C21 internal partitions and contemporary fixtures and fittings that have been added as part of the domestic conversion are not of special architectural or historic interest.


Tamworth Waterworks Joint Committee (TW) was formed in 1878, headed by Henry Marten, to facilitate the supply of uncontaminated water to Tamworth and the surrounding rural area. Hopwas Pumping Station was constructed in 1879 after Hopwas Wood was deemed to be the best quality water source in the area. Two fifty horse-power beam-condensing engines were installed by Messrs. Gimpson and Son of Leicester. Each engine had a brass plate; one inscribed 'WOODY' and the other 'SPRUCE', named in tribute to two members of the water board. To the east of the site were a complex of settling tanks (built over in 2004) and an attendant’s house (now in private ownership).
In 1923 a second bore hole was sunk next to the original station. F J Dixon, who was working at the time for South Staffordshire Waterworks (SSW), acted as a consultant engineer for the works. The new engine house was built in 1925 and in 1926 a coupled compound Tanyge horizontal steam engine was put in place. The beam engines continued in use. In 1935 a new covered reservoir (the first of its type in the country to use reinforced concrete consolidated by a vibrated shuttering system), was built in Hopwas Wood to the north.
On the 1 July 1962 TW was taken over by SSW. In 1963 Hopwas Pumping Station was modernised and two electrically driven submersible type centrifugal pumps were supplied by Sulzer Bros and were powered with electric motors by Hayward-Tyler and Company Ltd. The chimney for the steam engines was demolished in the late 1960s and the steam engines ceased pumping in 1965. The two beam engines were removed in 1987 for preservation at the Forncett Industrial Steam Museum in Norwich and the Leicestershire Museum of Technology. The Victorian pumping station was sold for residential development in 2004. The 1925 pump house is still in use by SSW.
The 1925 pump house was originally listed as part of the Hopwas Pumping Station site in 1986. It is now (2014), listed separately.

Reasons for Listing

The former Hopwas Pumping Station, built in 1879 for Tamworth Waterworks, including the front wall but excluding the rear modern garden walls and garages, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it possesses a strong and confident design, particularly in the former engine house, with a good use of contrasting decorative brickwork and stone dressing;
* Historic interest: it served as the principal water supply to the Tamworth Waterworks company;
* Legibility: despite the domestic alterations and loss of the original engines, the survival of the engine house, boiler room and store contributes to the legibility of the building’s former process;
* Group value: the pumping station forms an interesting group with the adjacent early-C20 pump house (listed at Grade II).

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