Coultershaw beam pump


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1005817

Date first listed: 13-Apr-1981


Ordnance survey map of Coultershaw beam pump
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Petworth

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 97208 19409


Coultershaw Beam Pump, 46m SSW of Coultershaw Farm House.

Reasons for Designation

Coultershaw Beam Pump, 46m SSW of Coultershaw Farm House, is a rare survival of a water-powered beam pump. It marked a significant 18th century innovation in the development of mechanised water supply. It is the only known survival of an almost exact copy of George Sorocold’s pumps erected under London Bridge in 1705. George Sorocold was an engineer from Lancashire who was hugely influential in pioneering work in water supply. He introduced pumps worked by water-wheels, which rose and fell in accordance with the level of the river or stream. As a surviving example of this design, albeit later in date, Coultershaw Beam Pump is of national importance.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 October 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. .

The monument includes a water wheel-powered triple beam pump built in 1782 to supply water to Petworth House. It is situated on the east side of the Rother, just south of Coultershaw Bridge near Petworth.

The water-wheel, which is 3.4m in diameter, was renewed in the 19th century and is cast iron framed. It was originally undershot but is now breast shot and drives a three-throw crankshaft which swings three beams pivoted at one end through connecting rods. The pump plunger rods are connected to the outer free ends of the beams. Water is pumped at a rate of over 90,000 litres per day along a 2.4 km cast iron pipeline to an underground cistern on Lawn Hill in Petworth Park.

The pump was originally sited in the basement of Coultershaw Watermill. However after the mill was destroyed by fire in the 1920’s, a weather-boarded barn with a tiled roof and brick footings was brought in to replace it. The beam pump was restored during the 1980s.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: WS 484

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


Sorocold, George (c.1668–1738?) , accessed 29-JUL-2009 from [Accessed 29-JUL-2009
West Sussex HER 1617 - MWS2720. NMR SU91NE29. PastScape 249351

End of official listing