Ancient Monuments

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Melingriffith Water Pump

A Scheduled Monument in Whitchurch (Yr Eglwys Newydd), Cardiff (Caerdydd)

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Latitude: 51.5122 / 51°30'43"N

Longitude: -3.2377 / 3°14'15"W

OS Eastings: 314202

OS Northings: 179973

OS Grid: ST142799

Mapcode National: GBR K37.0W

Mapcode Global: VH6F5.T8P4

Entry Name: Melingriffith Water Pump

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3374

Cadw Legacy ID: GM312

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Pump

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Cardiff (Caerdydd)

Community: Whitchurch (Yr Eglwys Newydd)

Built-Up Area: Cardiff

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of a water pump dating to the industrial period. The pump is situated on the line of the Glamorgan Canal in the Parish of Whitchurch, Cardiff. The Glamorgan Canal (opened in 1794) drew water from a feeder which also supplied the Melingriffith Works. A clause in the Glamorgan Canal Navigation Act required the Canal Company to protect the water supplies of local industries, but in the period 1794-1806, during dry weather, the canal took so much water out above the works to supply the Melingriffith Lock that the works frequently had to cease operation.

The ensuing legal battle between the Canal Company and the owners of the Works, Messrs Harford & Partridge, resulted in the Canal Company agreeing to take its water from the tail-race below the works. However, this involved lifting the water 4m into the Canal. To achieve this the Canal Company paid Harford & Partridge £700 to set up a pumping engine, and agreed to contribute £90 per annum maintenance. Design and construction of the pump was carried out by Messrs John Rennie and William Jessop, who instead of building a steam-powered unit as originally specified, used the fast flowing tail-race to power an undershot waterwheel. The pump operated by a period of 135 years from 1807 until the Canal's closure in 1942.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of 19th century industrial processes. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques. A pump may be part of a larger cluster of monuments and their importance can further enhanced by their group value.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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