Sherborne Steam & Waterwheel Centre is run by a local group of volunteers who over the past 25 years have rescued the waterwheel and its house from serious neglect. The wheel, 26 feet in diameter having steel rims, 72 steel buckets, and a cast iron rim-gear, is unique in having three leats providing water in high breast shot array; it also has a system of ventilated buckets invented by William Fairbairn in the early part of the 19th century. It was installed to provide clean water for the inhabitants of Sherborne in 1869 and ran until 1959.
At the time when rescue work began there had already been substantial damage to the wheel through immersion in water and debris some of which unfortunately is permanent.
The wheel was so seriously corroded that it is has had to be rebuilt at a cost of £60,000. We have now raised this money through the generosity of donations from visitors and substantial grants from the following organisations:
Sherborne Town Council; West Dorset District Council; Simon Digby Memorial Trusts; Garfield Weston Trust; Manifold Trust; Pilgrim Trust; Prism Grant Fund; Awards for All; Wessex Watermark Award, Sherborne & District Society (local branch of CPRE).
In 1876 a Hindley Steam engine was installed to boost the output of the waterwheel and we now have a similar engine which has been refurbished and is in a new Hindley Museum building funded by Chalk and Cheese, the European Agricultural Fund for European Development 2007-2013, Headley Trust and the Leisure Development Fund. In addition we have another Hindley steam engine, rather smaller - the engines will be running under steam in 2015
We are exteremly grateful for your support.
Come along and see the new waterwheel and the Hindley steam engines under steam on open days.
- ADMISSION: Adults £5, Family £7, Children FREE.
- Members of English Heritage £3.
- Lots of room for picnics.