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Antrim Castle Gardens, Pumping Station

 

During restoration of Antrim Castle Grounds, the tracking of a Victorian wall led to the discovery of a circular brick chamber with side openings, all of which were filled with earth. Excavation revealed tunnels that had once linked a pump-house to sunken gardens and in the centre of the hub was the cast iron hand pump that was originally used to supply fresh water to the estate’s formal ponds.

A contract was established to clean, refurbish and preserve the various elements as an historical feature.

Existing overflow drainage from the canals, was diverted away from the line of the tunnels for discharge into the Six Mile Water. Walls were extended above ground-level with a castellated design and copings that were sympathetic to the original Victorian theme.  Once cleared, the brickwork walls and vaulted roof were restored, and the ceramic floor tiles re-laid as they were first constructed.

Taylor & Boyd designed a tubular steel frame structure to support a glazed roof of 45mm tempered and treated glass. This provided visual perspective from outside and above to present the pumping chamber to the public. Lighting and rails allow visitors to experience the scale and form of all chamber and tunnels in safe conditions.

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