Swanage (click on photograph to bring up bigger/better version).
[Thanks to Paul Snelling for the photographs on this page]
|Two pumps by the old Swanage town
gaol, Dorset. All that remains of the one on the left is its stone housing,
but there's evidence of piercings in the stone which could once have
accommodated the handle and spout, now lost. The gaol itself carries a date of
1803. The quite grand pump on the right is very solidly built from cast iron,
although its handle is broken. Swanage Museum has confirmed that it was
installed in 1881 by George Burt, and connected to the public spring known as
Another version of the story has come to light in "Lesser Known Swanage" written by Julie Musk and published by Roving Press in 2009. "The stone pump to the left of the Lock-Up has lost all its working parts - perhaps they went for scrap in the War or the pump arrived as ballast from some place else. It is unsure whether the metal pump on the right ever functioned, though a spring runs underground. Probably Burt sited them here simply for visual effect."
George Burt (1816-1894) came from a Swanage stone merchant family, and with John Mowlem developed the business "Mowlem, Burt and Freeman". The company grew, and was contracted to maintain the masonry of all government properties in London. Eventually it become one of the largest construction companies in the UK, Mowlem. Burt used the London connection to scavenge many architecturally interesting features for re-erection in Swanage. Apparently, many of Swanage's cast iron bollards were originally made for London boroughs, (and still carry their names), so it's possible that the pump also originated in London.
|It is now clear that the stone pump was originally on Church Hill,
Swanage, and it can be seen at this location in an old photograph on the
England website. However, it has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt
(thanks to some detective work by Shawn Shaw) that when it was demolished and
moved to its new position the stone blocks were erected in the wrong order -
almost entirely upside down. The low-down piercing we can see today at the
front of the pump originally held the handle fulcrum on its metal plate, and
further photographs by Shawn also show the
original positions of the spout and the notice, now all lost.
Is there anybody in Swanage who'd like to comment on the above?
Markings: None, on either.
|A small pump at Newton Manor, Swanage.