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Early-C20 Hopwas Pump House

A Grade II Listed Building in Wigginton and Hopwas, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.6421 / 52°38'31"N

Longitude: -1.7477 / 1°44'51"W

OS Eastings: 417167

OS Northings: 304957

OS Grid: SK171049

Mapcode National: GBR 4FB.8ZG

Mapcode Global: WHCGX.4V0C

Entry Name: Early-C20 Hopwas Pump House

Listing Date: 19 March 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1421473

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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A pump house built in 1925 for Tamworth Waterworks (later taken over by South Staffordshire Waterworks), excluding the surrounding detached brick water treatment structures.


A pump house built in 1925 for Tamworth Waterworks (later taken over by South Staffordshire Waterworks), excluding the surrounding detached brick water treatment structures.

MATERIALS: English-bond red brick with sandstone dressings, and a slate roof with coped verges.

PLAN: rectangular plan on a north-east alignment.

EXTERIOR: a single-storey building with a basement. A single-bay gable-end entrance that has giant clasping rusticated pilasters, a decorative cornice and a pediment with oculus. A flight of steps leads up to a round-arched doorway with a C21 timber-plank door. It is surrounded by a moulded architrave and a large cartouche key bearing the foundation date of 1925. Above is a wide ashlar panel under the cornice inscribed TAMWORTH WATERWORKS. The side elevations have four bays articulated by pilasters and tall round-arched windows with glazing bars. The basement level has in-filled segmental-arch window openings. The rear elevation has clasping pilasters, an oculus within the gable and a C21 door within a brick-arch surround.

INTERIOR: the Tanyge horizontal steam engine has been removed. The metal gantry crane supported on pilasters survives, as does the braced steel-truss roof. The rest of the hall is largely empty, with a suite of stud-partitioned offices to the rear. The modern plant work and control center are not of special interest*. A flight of metal stairs leads down to the basements which contains the remains of the former engine tanks. There is also modern chlorine treatment machinery which is not of special interest*.

The detached brick water treatment structures to the north and west of the building 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 modern machinery, including the control centre, chlorine treatments machinery and the rest of the modern plant works 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 early-C20 pump house was first listed as part of Hopwas Pumping Station in 1986; it is now (2014) listed separately.

Reasons for Listing

The early-C20 Hopwas Pump House, excluding the surrounding detached brick water treatment structures, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it has a strong stripped back design with classical elements that are enhanced by the contrasting use of brick and dressed stone;
* Historic interest: it served as the principal water supply to the Tamworth Waterworks company;
* Group value: the pump house forms an interesting group with the adjacent listed Grade II late-C19 former pumping station.

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