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Bank Holiday entertainment: See the world's oldest working Beam Engine in action



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Historic site maintained by Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and team of volunteers opens its doors for steam days this weekend.

Crofton Beam Engines lies between Great Bedwyn and Burbage and houses the oldest working Beam Engine in the world, still in its original location and still capable of carrying out its original task – pumping water to the summit level of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The station was built in 1807-9 to supply water to the highest point of the Kennet & Avon Canal which links London and Bristol. It is a rare survivor of the technology which enabled British engineers to drain mines and supply towns and cities with water throughout the world, and has recently undergone National Lottery Heritage Fund supported conservation and visitor facility improvement work.

Crofton Beam Engines Pumping Station
Crofton Beam Engines Pumping Station
Historic site maintained by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust
Historic site maintained by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust
Letting off steam
Letting off steam
Inside the pumping station
Inside the pumping station

This weekend, on Sunday, May 1 and Monday, May 2, Crofton Beam Engines will be open to visitors for steam days. Further steam days will also be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29.

Tours can be booked for times between 11am and 4.30pm. Advance purchase of timed tickets is recommended for steaming days. A pre-paid timed ticket will guarantee entry. To book tickets and to find out more about Crofton Beam Engines visit www.croftonbeamengines.org/

On steaming days there is a charge for entry to the grounds. The admission charge includes entry to the pumping station for a self-led tour. Adult tickets £10.75 (£12 with Gift Aid). Accompanied children under 16 free.

Crofton Pumping Station on the Kennet & Avon canal
Crofton Pumping Station on the Kennet & Avon canal
Crofton Pumping Station on the Kennet & Avon Canal
Crofton Pumping Station on the Kennet & Avon Canal

The café is closed, but visitors are welcome to bring a picnic.

With views over the Kennet and Avon Canal and Wilton Water Reservoir, fed by natural springs and the reason why the pumping station was built here, there is plenty to see and explore.



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