Market Lavington Museum

Another water pump

In the days before houses had mains tap water, people were dependent on collecting water from outside in A well bucket wound down on a rope or from a dipping well. (See Easterton Dipping Well – Then and Now and The end of the Northbrook dipping well.) The alternative was to pump water up from underground by raising and lowering a lever. We have already seen A barrelled cylinder pump that was used by the wheelwrights on White Street in Market Lavington.

This is a hefty wrought iron item and we are currently trying to decide on a new location for it as current building works have necessitated moving our trades artefacts into another room in our museum house.

We do have another, smaller pump that was once used in Market Lavington, but has spent many years in our store room. We are hoping that we might be able to put it out on display along with a few other watery objects.

Pumping the handle moved a piston up and down within the vertical shaft of the pump. On the upstroke the lower valve at the base of the pump would open and suction would allow the water to enter above it. The next downstroke would open the upper valve, in the piston, letting the water through above it. The following stroke would lift this quantity of water up to the level of the spout and it would pour out into the waiting bucket.

See for a simple animated diagram of this happening.