This is one of my favourite (special) places. Set in woodland between the Cromford Canal and the River Derwent, it is a wonderful icon of our industrial past. The now Grade II* listed building was erected 1849 to pump water from the River Derwent into Cromford Canal. It houses an unusually large none rotive beam engine that was built in Elsecar, Yorkshire.
The growth and speed of technical innovation was a contributing factor to the design of this site. Conflicting interests between mine, mill, railway and canal owners bought about many legal battles on who has the rights to the water for industrial use. Eventually it seems they reached an agreement. The canal company could pump water from the River Derwent to top up the canal only at weekends. Not wanting to miss a trick, the canal company built an engine that could gulp up almost a ton of water every ten seconds and lift it into the canal.
The whole site is an area rich in industrial artifacts that will have the curious person spending lifetime exploring and still have plenty left over.
Leawood Pumphouse has regular steaming dates throughout the year from Easter until October, run by a team of volunteers. Do go and support them and get some steam.