The Waterworks Museum – Hereford is a brilliant day out for the whole family as well as the engineering and history enthusiast.
Suitable for all ages, this Museum is open one day a week – on a Tuesday between 11am and 4pm, and on 20 in-steam family days each year (Sundays and bank holidays).
Charting the heritage of Herefordshire’s water supply, the Waterworks Museum – Hereford houses a unique collection of working industrial artefacts concerned with the supply of potable water, all in the authentic surroundings of a Victorian waterworks building and grounds. It might not be obvious, but the museum is a time-capsule of social history and the public health development in Herefordshire and beyond.
The Museum has possibly the widest chronological range of working water-pumping devices in Britain, with exhibits spanning from 1850 to 2000, whilst authentic working replicas cover some of the earliest water-raising devices of the Greek and Roman periods.
The Museum is home to more than thirty working engines of all types. From early beam engines to internal combustion, and everything in between including gas and diesel engines and the UK’s best collection of hot air engines. Virtually all the engines and pumps are among the last remaining working examples on public display.
The collection, which includes the oldest triple expansion steam engine of its kind working in situe, primarily relates to the drinking water supply in Herefordshire and neighbouring counties, which until the 1960s was still pumped to Broomy Hill pumping station from the River Wye, the banks on which the Museum stands. But it also includes items from Wales and other parts of the UK to represent the development of drinking water supply, which were otherwise likely to be irretrievably lost.
See the huge machines in action on regular steam days throughout the year and see their gleaming constructions all kept in working order by a dedicated team of volunteers.
Steam days are run on the second and last Sundays and on bank holiday Mondays between April and October (12pm to 4pm), with many of these days providing additional attractions and activities. See the Museum website for details.
Fun for all the family
The Waterworks Museum – Hereford is a time capsule of social history and across the Museum there are exhibits for visitors to operate.
Especially designed for use by children (but enjoyed by visitors of all ages), The Noel Meeke Heritage Water Park is where visitors can interact with full-size devices to operate pumps, lift water from a well, play the part of a donkey pushing a capstan pump and learn to filter water. These historic water devices are in a totally safe environment where children can have immense fun and learn at the same time the difficulties of obtaining water in days gone by.
Children can also enjoy themed fun days in school holidays. See the Museum website for details.
The Museum also houses a permanent exhibition which, founded on artifacts saved from the abandoned munitions factory at Rotherwas, tells the story of life in Hereford during world war two.
Finally, when its time to recharge batteries visitors can head for the picnic tables in the picturesque grounds or the Visitor Centre to enjoy the light refreshments on offer.
- Free parking
- Museum accessible to all visitors
- Light refreshments (hot and cold drinks and snacks) and souvenirs available
- Museum available for hire for private group visits
- Flexible space for private functions and meetings available for hire