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Our Crofton Story

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 Our Crofton Story 

Crofton Pumping Station is owned by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust. The station has been restored and operated over the past half a century by our incredible volunteers.

Crofton receives no government funding

Crofton now needs more work than our volunteers alone can provide. The total cost is around £750,000. We are working on a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support. We also need to secure around £150,000 from other sources to secure Crofton for future generations.

We hope you will agree that Crofton is a special place and well worth looking after for future generations.

A word from our patron, Phil Harding of
TV’s Time Team: 

I’ve known Crofton all my life and still enjoy visiting this special place. Crofton is important both as part of Wiltshire’s social history and internationally as a working steam pumping station.”

Please can you help ? 

We need to raise around a further £150,000 to complete our project. Any amount helps us reach our target. Please use the enclosed slip to send us your donation, remembering to provide the details we need to claim gift aid on your donation if you are a UK tax payer. We promise to use your donation well.

Thank you!

Contact us: 

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust
The Wharf, Couch Lane,
Devizes, SN10 1EB
tel: 01380 721279

Crofton Beam Engines
Crofton, Marlborough, SN8 3DW
tel: 01672 870300

Our Plans for
Crofton . . . 

. . . and the help we need

Crofton houses the world’s oldest fully working Beam Engine. We’re working to conserve Crofton whilst developing our interpretation, activities and visitor facilities. We want to attract a wider and more diverse audience and ensure Crofton’s future. 

A brief explanation of our project and fundraising campaign

Charity Number

Our Plan

As well as essential conservation to the buildings, we want to help our many visitors enjoy their day.

New interpretation will explain Crofton and its people. New activities will encourage more visitors and volunteers to enjoy this special place. We will:

  • Re-roof the Boiler House and refurbish the roof lantern
  • Repair or replace rotten timbers
  • Stop water ingress in the west wall
  • Refurbish the Leat area to stop it leaking
  • Deal with asbestos
  • Provide a Disabled Toilet
  • Design new interpretation
  • Provide new activities and learning opportunities such as our 1920s cottage garden
  • Capture the memories of those who worked at and restored Crofton in a new recorded archive

Our Challenge

We need around £750,000

We have committed £75,000 of our own reserves to this work. Our volunteers will complete work worth more than £80,000.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to consider detailed plans for the project in June 2017. If successful, they would provide around £550,000 of funding.

But we need to raise a further £150,000 to complete this important work and ensure Crofton is here and accessible for future generations.

Please can you help?

The Crofton volunteers

 Our Heritage

Crofton is Grade 1 listed, built in 1807-9 to supply water for the K&A Canal. It is considered of ‘prime evidential value’ by Historic England.

Of the two Cornish cycle Beam Engines, both restored to worki
ng order, the Boulton and Watt engine, built in 1812, is world’s oldest working beam engine still in its original setting and capable of carrying out its original job. The Harvey & Co. of Hayle, Cornwall, engine, built in 1846 and modified in 1905 is one of the few remaining operating engines of its type.

Crofton’s reason for existence is the 87 mile long K&A Canal, which links London and Bristol. The Pumping Station was designed to raise water 40 feet from springs of water in the chalk to the summit level of the canal. Key to the success of the canal was, and is, water supply. The canal reservoir, Wilton Water, still supplies the engines and the canal. After 1950, the canal became derelict, and its resurrection from the was a triumph of the volunteer movement.


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