Twyford Waterworks was opened in 1898 to supply water to areas around Southampton and Ithcen Valley, and is still an active site supplying some five million gallons per day, pumped from deep boreholes dug into the chalk. All the original buildings are still present and a walk around the main buildings will give you the complete history of pumping water – the 1914 Hathorn Davey triple expansion steam engine and Babcock and Wilcox boilers (under restoration) form the centrepiece, while the replacement 1934 Diesel House is a hive of activity on our main Event Days. More modern electric pumps bring the story up to the present time.
Water used to be softened with lime, and this was produced on site in a unique set of 5 kilns set up high above the main works. The kilns, narrow gauge railway, and lime mixing equipment remain today, and on our Event Days the unusual water driven engines that operated this and the railway incline from the quarry can be seen in use. An extension to the industrial railway is operated by narrow gauge locomotives and a growing collection of typical industrial rolling stock. There is also the Filter House, where the chalk in the water was removed. A set of Haines Filters have been rescued from a works in Dorset and these are being fitted out to give the complete process of water production.
We’re open selected Sundays from May to October inclusive with a different theme each month – check out our website to see what’s on. We can also offer guided tours on Sundays during the summer holidays and at other times.
We are always pleased to show groups and coach parties around the Works by prior arrangement and offer group discount rates – please contact us for details.
We have a large free car park and accompanied children under 16 can visit us free of charge.
We look forward to welcoming you to Twyford Waterworks soon!
Please note: Access to the main buildings and tea room is generally level; there are several sets of steps to reach the lime kilns, railway, nature trail and filter house.