The Pump House – Farnham, England - Atlas Obscura

The Pump House

This restored pump house gives a glimpse into the past when communal water supplies were common. 


Nestled in the 17th-century lanes around Farnham’s St Andrew’s Church, stands a communal pumphouse, a commonplace in the past but now a rarity. Reconstructed in 1995, this is an example of structures that held a significant place in the history of villages and towns across the country. Pumphouses were the primary source of clean water for drinking, cooking, and washing  during the time.

An integral part of daily life for so long, these spaces were built over wells and served the nearby houses and their residents. With the advent of modern plumbing, these structures became obsolete and many towns and villages lost their pump houses.

Despite this, the pumphouse in Farnham has been thoughtfully preserved, complete with all the essentials of yesteryears, such as tubs, brushes, and pegs, as well as a dolly stick, used to turn and pump the laundry within a barrel-like tub.

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April 23, 2024

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