Head for the imposing chimney stack of the pumping station rising out of the marshy Somerset Levels and find out how it has been possible to live and farm here for the past 180 years.
The use of steam power on the Somerset Levels to reduce flooding and control drainage of the low lying moorlands commenced at Westonzoyland in about 1830, when the first of eight pumping stations was built on the banks of the River Parrett. Originally equipped with a beam engine and scoop wheel, this was replaced in 1861 by the now preserved Easton Amos land drainage machine, still in its original engine house. This was capable of raising 100 tons of flood water per minute from 1600 acres (647 hectares) of farmland and discharging it into the adjacent river.
The original buildings, comprising the engine house, cottage, forge and chimney are Grade II* listed by English Heritage and together with a modern exhibition hall, engine shed and pump room, house what is acknowledged to be the largest collection of working stationary steam engines and pumps in the South of England, totalling 30, many of which have been manufactured locally or have local connections. Two rooms in the Attendant’s Cottage and the scullery are open to view.
Other exhibits of general interest include a small waterwheel; Lister deep well pump; Blacksmith’s forge; Lancashire boiler and 2’ narrow gauge railway, used to transport cut timber to the 1938 Marshall portable boiler, used for raising steam.
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Don't Miss!The steam powered Easton Amos land drainage machine built in 1861, which was capable of pumping 100 tons of water per minute from the Levels into the River Parrett.
There are currently no events happening at Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum.
We are always looking for new volunteers to come and join us. We are a small but dedicated team of volunteers doing our best to preserve an important part of Somerset's heritage. From engineering to gardening to front of house to catering there is something for everyone to do.
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The Museum can arrange mid-week visits for schools. Please contact the Museum for more information.
The Museum can assist researchers with enquiries about the site and local history. Please contact the Museum for more information.
Other Useful Information
Run entirely by unpaid volunteers, the Museum, is fully accredited by the Arts Council England and was established more than 30 years ago, when the Westonzoyland Engine Trust, a Registered Charity (No.279765), was set up “to advance the education of the public regarding steam power and land drainage”.�
The Museum is about 4 miles to the south east of Bridgwater and is signposted from Westonzoyland Village.�
Tea room, picnic area and free parking. Dogs welcome on lead.
Mainly level access but there are some steps, which do not restrict viewing.