Coleham Pumping Station


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A pumping station for sewage, opened in 1901, and designed by Taylor and Santo Crimp and built by Henry Price.

Reasons for Designation

Coleham Pumping Station, Longden, Shrewsbury, a sewage pumping station of 1901, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Intact survival: the engine house, with its attached boiler house, coal store, chimney and flue all survive with the great majority of the original internal fittings and machinery intact; * Architectural interest: this small group of functional buildings, fronting onto Longden Shrewsbury and the River Severn, has an ornamented architectural treatment which reflects its civic importance.


The expansion of Shrewsbury in the C19 and greater awareness of public health and possible contagion from river water, led the borough to commission a report on sewage disposal from the London firm of civil engineers, John Taylor & Santo Crimp. Their report of 1894 recommended a pumping station close to source of the sewage (the present building), and a separate sewage farm on the outskirts of the town. The site of the pumping station was purchased at Longden Coleham, adjacent to the river, and the sewage farm was at Monkmoor.

The foundation stone for the pumping station was laid in 1898 and it opened in 1901, having been built by Henry Price to the designs of Taylor and Santo Crimp. It continued in action, using the original machinery, until September 1970, when electricity was used to power the pumps. All pumping activity was subsequently moved outside the building. A preservation group, The Shrewsbury Steam Trust, was set up in 1992, and one of the engines was in operation by 2001, followed by the other. The building continues to the present as an active museum.


A former pumping station for sewage, now a museum, opened in 1901, designed by Taylor and Santo Crimp and built by Henry Price.

MATERIALS: red, Ruabon brick, laid in English bond, with sandstone dressings and a roof of Coalbrookdale clay tiles.

PLAN: the engine house faces south east towards the street, and the lower boiler house, together with the coal store-cum-workshop are set behind in two parallel, gabled ranges facing the yard and the river. The engine house has a basement level, and its upper storey has two ranks of windows, giving the impression to the exterior of two storeys with basement. The chimney is square in section and attached to the rear of the boiler house by a curved, external, brick flue which has an arched top.

EXTERIOR The south-eastern road front has a gabled, symmetrical front of three bays with stone quoins to the corners and to the lower window surrounds. The central, panelled double doors are approached by a flight of stone steps. The basket-arched head has a projecting keystone which connects with the projecting, pedimental overdoor, which is also supported by fluted brackets at either side. Lower windows at either side have deep, arched heads with projecting keystones and hoodmoulds. The central window at the upper level is large, with a round-arched head which projects into the gable and it is flanked by smaller windows with segmental heads. To the gable are a triplet of louvered vents and there are stone kneelers, coping and a stone sceptre finial.

The flanks each have three bays, with round-headed windows to the ground floor and segment-headed lights to the first floor, as on the entrance front.

The rear, north-western front is abutted by the lower engine house and coal store (now used as a workshop) to its lower body. Above and behind these there is a large, arched window rising into the gable and three louvered vents to the apex of the gable, stone coping and finial, as seen on the road front. To the centre of the ridge is a vent, with a square lower body and octagonal, louvered upper body with an octagonal lead cap.

The group of parallel boiler house and coal store is attached to the north-west of the engine house. Its yard front has double doors to the coal store, with a cambered head. There is a basket arched window to the lower gable. The parallel boiler house to its right has a blank gable end and immediately in front of this is the chimney with a plinth and panelled upper body, with moulded offsets.

INTERIOR The lower walling of the engine house has glazed brown tiles below the moulded dado and exposed, yellow bricks above. To either flank are Woolf Compound Rotative beam engines, made by WR Renshaw of Stoke-on-Trent. Each has a flywheel of 16 feet diameter placed close to the wall. The piston is set to the rear (north-west) of the flywheel. Steps at the north-western end lead to an upper beam platform and above this is a gantry with crane. The boiler house contains two Cornish boilers, built by Galloways, c.1899. A Lowcock economiser was originally fitted to warm the river water before introduction to the boilers, but this was removed at an early date. Automatic stoking machines were introduced to the boilers in the mid-C20, one of which has now been removed. Otherwise, little has been altered.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES At either side of the surrounding enclosure are flank walls of red Ruabon brick, and at the front, facing towards the street, is a screen wall with cast iron railings to its upper body, divided by brick piers with pyramidal, stone caps. At the centre are a pair of iron gates, aligned with the engine house entrance, and at right is a wide gateway which leads to the yard. To the north-east end of the site is a battered retaining wall of blue engineering brick, laid in garden wall bond, which faces the river. This has a stone coping and a cast iron safety railing with ball finials to the uprights.

Pursuant to s1 (5) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the collection of wooden and metal huts to the western side of the rear yard are not of special architectural or historic interest.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Cossons, N, BP Book of Industrial Archaeology, (1993), 219
Cragg, R, Wales and West Central England, Civil Engineering Series, (1997), 246-7
Douet, James, Temples of Steam: Waterworks Architecture in the Steam Age, (1992), 27
Hayes, G, A Guide to Stationary Steam Engines, (1981)
Pevsner, N, Newman, J, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, (2006), 579-580
Shrewsbury Museums Service, , Coleham Pumping Station, (1993)
Water Authorities Association, , The Water Heritage, (1987), 36


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed building(s) are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 12 Aug 2002
Reference: IOE01/08678/03
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr James Leach. Source Historic England Archive
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