Steam-powered beam engines

Contributed by Claymills

Steam-powered  sewage pumping station with 4 large beam engines (1885), steam driven workshop and dynamo set © CPET

Each beam engine has a 13 tonne beam, 24 tonne flywheel and is the height of a 4-storey building. Burton-upon-Trent produced an enormous amount of sewage for a small town, mainly brewery waste, which originally flowed direct into the River Trent. The pumping station was erected in 1885 by Burton Corporation and pumped the sewage onto farmland. During its life the station pumped around 20 million litres per day. It operated until 1969. Restoration started in 1993 and there are now 2 working beam engines and 24 other restored engines, a fully restored Victorian workshop driven by line-shafting and belts plus a Crompton dynamo set of 1889 driven by a Buxton & Thornley engine, believed to be the oldest working generating set in the UK. The Claymills Victorian Pumping Station is owned by Severn Trent Water and operated by the Claymills Pumping Engines Trust Ltd (a registered charity). It is of major local importance because of its contribution to public health and prevention of epidemics caused through water pollution.

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Burton Upon Trent




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