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Scheduled Monument record MDR4854 - High Peak Pump House, Cromford Canal, Cromford

Type and Period (1)

  • (Victorian to 21st Century - 1849 AD to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

High Peak Pump House, Cromford Canal, Cromford, built in 1849. 'The High Peak Pump House (High Peak Junction) is a Grade II* listed building. It was constructed in the early 19th century, of rusticated ashlar with slates. It contains a notable pumping engine of 1849 built by Graham & Co, Milton Iron Works. The boiler house on the west side is a low single-storeyed wing.' (1) 'An impressive gritstone beam engine house, built to house a single acting beam engine of the Watt type. The pump house was built to raise water from the Derwent to the Cromford Canal. The engine has been restored by the Cromford Canal Society. The pump house was necessary because much of the existing supply of water, from the Cromford sough, had been diverted into the Meerbrook sough. The engine raised approximately 5-6 tons of water from the Derwent into the canal.' (2) 'Leawood Pumping Station was built to raise water into the Cromford Canal from the River Derwent to alleviate the water shortage brought about by the opening of the Meerbrook Sough. It contains a beam engine built in 1849 by the Milton Ironworks, Elsecar, Yorkshire. The engine is open to the public at weekends and is steamed a number of times a year.' (4) 'The Leawood pumphouse, engine and chimney, are situated south of High Peak Junction and on the east side of the canal. The pedimented pumphouse building is of ashlar gritstone with chamfered quoins. It has a square-headed doorway with pilasters and quoined round-arch windows. The adjacent boiler house has arched doorways. The engine was constructed at the Milton Ironworks by Graham & Co. It is a Boulton and Watt single action beam engine which is maintained in operational condition and is put in steam from time to time. The 29 metres high engine chimney is built of coursed stone and has a cast iron parapet.' (5) 'Leawood Pump House was built in 1849 to raise water from the Derwent to the canal after supplies from Cromford Sough decreased, following the opening of Meerbrook Sough. This drained not only the deeper lead mines but also the water from the earlier sough. The main steam cylinder produces the vacuum which lifts up the weighted pump rod at the other end of the huge cast iron beam. When the beam descends under its own weight, it expels over 3 tons of river water into the canal on each stroke. Before its restoration, it was thought to have last steamed around 1930. Restoration work was carried out by the Cromford Canal Society and the first public steaming was held on 4 August 1979. The magnificent edifice of Leawood Pumping Station has changed little since it was built. The engine itself was built by Graham & Company at the Milton Iron Works, Elsecar. Today it is fully restored, maintained by a dedicated team of volunteers, and is in steam and open to the public on several weekends each summer. After the demise of the Cromford Canal Society, maintenance of the Leawood Pump was taken over by a keen group of enthusiasts who were running the Middleton Top engine, which still operates albeit by compressed air on the former Cromford & High Peak Railway. Both of Leawood's boilers can be operated, and a weekend's steaming uses about two tons of coal. As there is no road access to the pump house, the coal is delivered to the wharf opposite, and loaded into a boat for carriage across the canal.' (6) 'A stationary steam pumping engine below the level of the towpath. It is a substantial stone and slate engine house with a smaller boiler house and a 95 foot chimney. Commissioned by the railway company, who were purchasing the canal, and completed in 1849. Inside is the Boulton & Watt-type single acting 70 hp beam engine built by Graham and Co. of Elsecar. The present boilers are locomotive type built by Midland Railway Co. in 1900. The engine and boiler houses are both of rusticated coursed dressed gritstone with smooth ashlar pediments, quoins and door/window surrounds. A formal, symmetrical composition of church grandeur and proportions. The machinery is restored and, when in use, pumps water into the canal in the same way that it did when the canal was taking traffic. In the past, because of the statutory requirement to maintain river velocity to power mills down river, water could only be pumped into the canal for 24 hours each week on a Sunday.' (7) From the National Heritage List for England: '1. CROMFORD 1390 High Peak Pump House (High Peak Junction) SK 35 NW 7/74 II* Early C19. Of rusticated ashlar, the main block having 3 windows (boarded-up) with voussoirs; pedimented ends, each having a tall moulded pilaster doorcase with cornice hood; stepped frieze; moulded cornice and blocking course; slates. Contains notable pumping engine of 1849 built by Graham & Co, Milton Iron Works. The boiler house on west side, a low single-storeyed wing with 2 arched windows (boarded-up) and pediments at sides, each enclosing a circular window with 2 similar windows below. Listing NGR: SK3152855682.' (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) UD of Matlock Derbys. Oct 1972 9. 3/3155/074.
  • <2> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Lea Wood pump house.
  • <3> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 11.2, with photo.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales. 20.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Derwent Valley Mills (DVM) Nomination Steering Panel. 2000. Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage List Nomination Document. 57, illust..
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Potter, H. 2003. The Cromford Canal. 22-24.
  • <7> Index: Mansel Architects. 2004. Cromford Canal Survey. Feature number: 42.
  • <8> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.



Grid reference Centred SK 31523 55680 (31m by 31m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3878
  • EDR1807

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Record last edited

Dec 8 2023 2:50PM

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