Crofton Pumping Station
Crofton Pumping Station is situated near the village of Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire and supplies the summit pound of the Kennet and Avon Canal with water. The original steam-powered pumping station is preserved and operates on selected dates. It contains one of the oldest operational Cornish engines in the world, dating from 1812. When the canal was built, no reliable water sources were available to fill the summit by normal gravitational means but a set of usable springs were found adjacent to the canal route about one mile east of the summit pound, and about 40 feet below it. Arrangements were made for these springs to feed the pound below lock 60 at Crofton Locks. Some years later a reservoir (Wilton Water) was created to improve the supply to this pound. Water from below lock 60 was taken by a culvert to the foot of a well sunk from the pumping station, which is built on the hillside more than 40 feet above the canal. The pumps take the water from this well and discharge it into a feeder channel next to the pumping station. The water flows along this channel under the force of gravity until it reaches the summit pound about one mile to the west. Day to day operation is with the use of automatic electric pumps.