Tangye House: Ex-Leominster’s Water Pumping Station 1865

  • Tangye House; ex-Leominster's water-pumping station.
  • In the 1860s Leominster, an important market town in Herefordshire, endured several epidemics of typhoid fever from contaminated drinking water.
  • Many of the more affluent traders had their own wells in their gardens but also cesspits.
  • Poorer people took their water direct from the Pinsley Brook.
  • The epidemics reached such a level of attrition amongst the adult population that the Government directed the Town Council to provide the townsfolk with piped, potable water.
  • Money was raised through a Government loan by Mr Tertius Southall, a distant relation of the founder of the Waterworks Museum, Stephen Southall, and the waterworks building was constructed.
  • It housed a steam engine and pump (later discarded with no records remaining) and was built above a known aquifer.
  • Quite quickly the water level in the aquifer was brought too low to use and water was piped in from some distance.
  • In 1990 the waterworks building was due to be razed to allow the extension of a business park in the town.
  • The Museum negotiated with the developers, dismantled the building with the advice of Avoncroft Museum, and reconstructed it on the Waterworks Museum site.
  • The roof support is of particular interest being an early wrought steel structure.
  • The building is now called the Tangye House and is home to the 97litre Tangye horizontal diesel engine and other displays.