Housed inside this building is a powerful steam engine which powers an enormous water pump. On open days you can still experience the heat of the boilers, smell the grease and coal, and see the power of the wave as tonnes of water are pumped up from the river.
The canal was filled with water after it drained out of the lead mines and round Arkwright’s waterwheels. As the miners dug deeper, much to Arkwright’s aggravation, they opened a new sough that bypassed the mill and the canal. In 1849 the pump house opened – and was hard at work to stop the boats grounding.
Demands on water supply created numerous disputes in the Valley- it was so much in demand. Mill owners downstream who relied on the water power from the Derwent insisted the pump was only in action from 8pm Saturday t0 8pm Sunday when their mills were shut.