Former pumping station, Swansea
This building, with its distinctive tower, was completed c.1900 to house the hydraulic pump for Swansea’s south and north docks. For almost 70 years, this provided a supply of high-pressure water to various machines in the area. They included a swing bridge, which rotated to one side to allow ships to enter or leave the South Dock. Half of the bridge’s span is preserved on the dockside near the former pumping station. Other devices powered by the pressurised water included cranes, lock gates and hoists for loading coal into ships.
The tower encased a heavy ram which pressed down on the water in the hydraulic system. Large boilers supplied steam to the pumps which kept the system pressurised. In the 1950s the steam machinery was replaced by electric pumps. The pumps finally stopped when the South Dock closed and the lock gates and swing bridge operated for the last time, in 1971.
With the South Dock’s redevelopment as a marina in the 1980s, the former pumping station was converted into a pub.
Postcode: SA1 1TT