Bloxham (click on photographs to bring up bigger/better versions).
| Surely the
most precarious location for a pump - it's mounted on the outside edge of a
bridge that carries the main road into Bloxham, Oxon. Users must have had to
have clambered up onto the stone parapet in order to perch on the perforated
metal platform which extends out into thin air, with just a wrought iron
railing to stop them from falling into the little stream, 20 ft or more below.
The downpipe is completely exposed, although ivy-covered, with a box half way
down to allow access to the working barrel with the plunger and valve assembly,
leading to very easy maintenance.
I've subsequently been told by local historians that the pump was moved to its current position early in the 19th Century when the new high road and bridge were built. They think that originally it must have been down at stream level. Apparently it saw use in quenching the thirst of travellers' horses, of cattle being driven to Banbury market, and of traction engines, and was also used to spray water on the dusty roads. The pump is the property of the Bloxham feoffees (don't even ask ) and at the end of the 19th Century it was boxed in by the local carpenter.