Sandfields Pumping Station
The grade II* listed Sandfields Pumping Station is a forgotten hidden historic gem. Like most industrial heritage building, it’s familiarity in the landscape has eroded away the curiosity of the casual passer-by. Yet this Romanesque styled masterpiece is a cathedral to the industrial revolution, for years unloved, for years abandoned.
Its Romanesque style took the language from the past and built the way to the future. Celebrating new technology and progress, it bought life giving clean water to the beleaguered communities of the industrial Black Country, bringing health and wellbeing to all.
This building and its historic contents showcased the provision of clean water that seeded the developments that enabled Britain to become a modern industrial country. Britain lead the world in technical and scientific developments that have improved the quality of people’s lives worldwide and are a testament the vision of the Victorian engineers and their philanthropic endeavours.
Let us look at this building and remind ourselves of the tens of thousands of people who died in the cholera epidemics of the mid nineteenth century. Most of these unfortunate people were buried in mass graves or cholera pits, with no identity, dignity or recognition of their lives.
This building is a monument to their life, giving them back a voice that allows them to tell their remarkable story.
The heritage of the modern water industry is almost entirely absent, despite its unarguable relevance to human development.