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Workshop, Agitator Engine House, Chief Engineer

A Grade II Listed Building in Burton, Staffordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8296 / 52°49'46"N

Longitude: -1.611 / 1°36'39"W

OS Eastings: 426306

OS Northings: 325862

OS Grid: SK263258

Mapcode National: GBR 5DJ.MJH

Mapcode Global: WHCG6.743K

Entry Name: Workshop, Agitator Engine House, Chief Engineer

Listing Date: 5 October 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1410636

Location: Burton, East Staffordshire, Staffordshire, DE13

County: Staffordshire

District: East Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Burton

Built-Up Area: Burton upon Trent

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Stretton with Claymills St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Summary

A workshop and agitator engine house of 1900, a chief engineer's office and tinsmith's shop of c.1910 and a dynamo house of 1936-37, built as ancillary structures to Claymills Pumping Station.

Description

MATERIALS: the workshop and agitator engine house are of red brick with slate roofs and a brick stack, whilst the dynamo house and chief engineer’s office, which are set over a basement on concrete piers, have concrete plinths, a damp-proof course of blue engineering brick, red-brick walling, slate roofs and a brick ridge stack.

PLAN: the buildings form two separate ranges, aligned north-east to south-west, with the workshop and agitator engine house forming the south-east range of the composition and the office, tinsmith's shop and dynamo house forming the north-east range. With their principal elevations facing north-west, the workshop range is square on plan whilst the former office and dynamo house range is rectangular, both being of a single depth. There is a joiner's shop dating from 2004 (not of special interest).

EXTERIOR: the double-height WORKSHOP is comprised of two gabled ranges which are recessed and framed by pilasters rising from a chamfered brick plinth. The gables, which are stone coped with moulded, stone kneelers, each contain an off-centre, wooden, double-door under riveted wrought-iron lintels; the steam main from the boiler house enters the workshop over the left-hand doorway. To the right-hand side of the workshop there is a single-bay, AGITATOR ENGINE HOUSE with two cast-iron framed casement windows. The rear elevation and both returns are of four bays and each bay, which is divided by pilasters, contains a cast-iron framed casement window; the exception being the right-hand return where the first two bays of the agitator engine house contain a wooden doorway along with an cast-iron framed casement window. All window openings have segmental, gauged-brick heads.

The former OFFICE consists of a central block of two-storeys plus basement, flanked by single-storey wings; that to the right accommodating a toilet block. The ground-floor of the central block, which has a recessed gable framed by pilasters, has a central, wooden, double-door flanked by rectangular, timber sashes. To the first-floor there is a central, semi-circular headed window flanked by rectangular sashes. All windows, with the exception of the central, first-floor windows, have segmental, gauged-brick heads. The single-storey wings each have a segmental-headed doorway; that to the left-hand side is now blocked but that to the right-hand side still retains its original wooden door. The roof of the right-hand wing also retains its original dormer roof vent. Adjoining the right-hand side of this wing is the DYNAMO HOUSE. Of a single storey in two bays, it has a recessed gable framed by pilasters with a double-door to the right-hand bay and a rectangular, timber sash to the left-hand bay, both openings with segmental-heads of gauged brick. To the right-hand side of the dynamo house there is a flight of cast iron steps which gives rear access to the former TINSMITH'S SHOP which occupied the basement beneath the office. It is of three bays with a central wooden door flanked by cast-iron framed windows.

INTERIOR: the WORKSHOP has a reclaimed wooden block floor from Rugeley A Power Station which was installed in the late-1990s as a facsimile of the original flooring. It contains virtually all the steam-powered machinery that was originally installed in the workshop in 1900 including a vertical steam-engine of 1900 by Vernon and Guest of Smethwick. This originally supplied the power for all the machine tools through line shafting and belt drives. Although the blacksmith’s forge was completely rebuilt in 2005 it still retains its original 5cwt (250kg) steam-hammer. The adjoining AGITATOR ENGINE HOUSE contains a steam-powered agitator engine which drove paddles mounted on a long shaft in the sewage culvert.

The DYNAMO HOUSE contains a self-exciting open-framed dynamo by Crompton and Company of Chelmsford driven by a horizontal steam-engine by Buxton and Thornley of Burton upon Trent, both of 1889; this is believed to be the oldest working electrical generator set in Britain. There is also a later Crompton self exciting enclosed frame dynamo of 1906 which is driven by a duplex vertical steam engine; this engine was built in the Claymills workshop. The dynamo house also retains a late-C19/early-C20 wooden control and distribution cabinet with a slate front panel.  All the machinery is bolted to the floor. The contents of the dynamo house were originally installed in the boiler house from 1900 but were moved to the purpose-built dynamo house in 1936-37 when the boiler house was upgraded and remodelled.

The former OFFICE, now refurbished as a visitors' centre, has painted brick walls and retains some original fixtures and fittings including wooden doors and carpentry.


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 07/01/2013

History

In 1898 Burton-upon-Trent Municipal Borough Council commissioned its Surveyor to consider the possibility of erecting workshops at the site of the Claymills Pumping Station (qv). The Corporation decided to go ahead with the project the following year and accepted the tender submitted by J & T W Selby of Burton-upon-Trent. Completed in 1900, the workshops were equipped with a range of machinery driven by belts from line shafts which were in turn driven by a steam engine. As well as being responsible for the maintenance of the pumping station and the equipment at the sewage farm, the workshops also became the main maintenance depot for the Borough Council. In c.1910 a chief engineer's office with a basement tinsmith's workshop were built to the north-east of the workshop range. In 1936-37, when the generating sets were moved from the boiler house to accommodate the installation of the economisers, the office range was extended with the addition of a dynamo house.

Following the closure of Claymills Pumping Station in 1971, the workshops, office and dynamo house became disused with the equipment and machinery being sent to various museums and steam trusts throughout the country. In 1993, after the operation of the Claymills Pumping Station was handed over from Severn Trent Water to the Claymills Pumping Engines Trust, restoration of the workshops, office and dynamo house commenced. The Trust brought back as much of the original equipment as possible and, although an electric drive was fitted to the lineshaft in 1998 to provide an alternative power source, steam power was returned to the workshop in 1999. The former chief engineer’s office was converted into a visitors' centre whilst the tinsmith's workshop became the site engineering store.

Reasons for Listing

The workshop, agitator engine house, chief engineer’s office, tinsmith’s shop and dynamo house at Claymills Pumping Station are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: Claymills Pumping Station is a particularly good and complete example of a C19 sewage treatment station;

* Group value: the buildings form a coherent group with the adjacent pumping station;

* Machinery: the buildings still retain a significant amount of original, steam-powered machinery, including the oldest steam-driven dynamo set in England;

* Intactness: the buildings survive remarkably unaltered, only being subject to remedial repairs.

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