Waterwheel back in place

The 1.5 tonne cast-iron wheel,  restored by specialist engineers JPS of Alloa, was lifted into place in Paxton Dene by driver Kevin Patterson of
Hutton Stone.
The 1.5 tonne cast-iron wheel, restored by specialist engineers JPS of Alloa, was lifted into place in Paxton Dene by driver Kevin Patterson of Hutton Stone.

Since the beginning of the year Paxton House trustee John Home Robertson and a team of builders and volunteers have been reconstructing the historic waterwheel site at the house.

Re-commissioning of the historic waterwheel and beam pump at Paxton reached a critical stage recently when the 1.5 tonne cast-iron wheel, restored by specialist engineers JPS of Alloa, was lifted into place in Paxton Dene.

Ten years ago John began exploring the site where he knew there was a pump house and well; he found four springs, a cistern, a waterwheel channel, a penstock, a horse gin and a hydram. A contemporary wheel and pump was found on the Blackadder Estate and since then work has been on-going to restore the original water wheel.

John explained: “This is probably one of the oldest pumped domestic water supply systems in Scotland.

“Research on the site and in archives has revealed the fascinating story of successive different pumps from the original 1770 waterwheel until the public water supply reached Paxton in 1960.

“When this project is completed early in 2018, visitors to Paxton will be able to see this historic machinery working as it did 250 years ago.”

The team working on the project includes volunteers and contractors, plus grant funders Heritage Lottery Fund, BCCF Environmental, and Fallago Environment Fund.

For more information visit www.paxtonhouse.co.uk.