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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1391677



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


District: City of Southampton

District Type: Unitary Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 05-Jun-2006

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 495902

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

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Reasons for Designation

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983/0/10065 WESTERN DOCKS 05-JUN-06 No. 7 pumping station at King George V Dry Dock

II No. 7 Pumping Station, built to house the pumps and machinery used in flooding and draining King George V Graving Dock. The Pumping Station lies on the west side of the entrance to the Dock, and was built in 1933/34 at the same time as the Dock was constructed. Red brick with stone dressing, architect unknown though it was probably part of the dock design by FE Wentworth-Shields.

EXTERIOR: The Pumping Station is a rectangular brick building in inter-war classical revival style suggesting a temple with a half-hipped pitched felt roof. It has a stone cornice, brick band and additional stone cornice, with brick pilasters between the windows, the cornice forming the capital of the pilasters. Each bay has a tall metal-framed multi-pane window divided so that the top section has a central pivoted hopper. There is a shallow stone apron beneath each window. The exterior has been somewhat altered in footprint: the west bay of the pumping station (comprising a diesel house and office) has been demolished, and a single storey extension was added to the river frontage. A washroom area has also been partially demolished.

INTERIOR: The pumping room is now subdivided into two parts by a temporary partition. The southern part of the building retains the old machinery and motor-room, and the northern part is now an electrical substation. The interior is lined with cream and green tiles on the lower part of the wall with brick above. There is a tiled floor in the northern end of the building. In the southern end of the building, in the main pumping room, are four pumps which regulated the water level in the dock, although one is now inoperable and one is possibly not original. The remainder of the pumping room appears to be as it was in the 1930s. A wooden staircase leads to a mezzanine balcony with a wooden balustrade, on which is the motor control room and pipe layout diagram which showed which pumps were working. The pumping station structure extends below ground to access the pipes, culverts and penstocks that drained and filled the dry dock.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The No. 7 Pumping Station was built in the 1930s, contemporary with the King George V Graving Dock it served. The dock was designed for the repair and maintenance of the largest ocean liners operating at this time, and is of special historic interest for representing the peak of the transatlantic passenger liner trade in Britain. The inter-war classical style is impressive and temple-like, and the interior is exceptional for its survival of fixtures and fittings. Although there have been some alterations to the periphery of the building, its function is amply illustrated by the surviving features and its architectural presence offsets the largely below-ground dock. It is, however, recognised that the below ground parts of the building are of lesser importance, and will eventually become flooded and inaccessible. The single storey flat roof later extensions to the south and north ends of the building are not of special interest either.

SOURCES: Clarke, Jonathan, King George V Graving Dock, Wetern Docks, Southampton (English Heritage Architectural Investigation London & South, January 2006).

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: SU 39341 12241


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End of official listing