The garden at the front of our croft house has a large garden feature, consisting of a pond set in a raised drystone border and surrounded by a mass of shrubbery. The plants block the low winter sun from the downstairs bedroom and living room, so I decided to clear the worst offenders out. In doing so, I found an antique cast-iron water pump set against the mortared wall at the end of the garden.
The pump appears to be quite old, possibly as old as the wall. It was originally mounted on a wooden block set into the wall but the wood has rotted, allowing the pump to detach and hang forward.
The pump no longer functions, although the lever is still free and can be moved. A pipe descends beneath it, so it’s possible there’s a covered well below the wall. We knew there was a well in the front garden, about 20 feet from the pump, but this was filled with boulders before we moved in and turfed over.
The pump has no maker’s name, but does have a small raised flag on one side and an “All British Made” moulding. According to the Village Pumps website, these identify it as a Lee, Howl and Co. pump made in Tipton, Staffordshire. In my view, it’s a much more attractive garden feature than the rancid pond and gloomy shrubbery. I’m tempted to clear the latter out entirely, restore the pump and add a stone trough. Not only would it look better and not block the sun, but it may also give us an alternative non-potable water supply in the event of power failures.