Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Sunday, 24 January 2010

Go-ahead to restore 200-year-old Cardiff water pump

The Melingriffith mill wheel
It is thought to be the only one of its kind left in the world

Work on restoring a historic water pump near the remains of a canal in Cardiff is due to start within weeks.

Historic monuments body Cadw and Cardiff Council have agreed to fund the project involving Melingriffith water pump and wheel in Whitchurch.

The 200-year-old pump stands on what is left of a tinplate works and near the Glamorgan canal, which brought iron and coal from the valleys to Cardiff docks.

The pump supplied water to the canal but has been disused for 67 years.

The £100,000 restoration project has been delayed, after bats were found roosting at the site, off Ty Mawr Road.

A bat expert will be on site to make sure the pipistrelle bats, a protected species, have all moved to their winter roosts.


The pump was first restored in the 1980s in an award-winning £300,000 project by industrial archaeologists and the Inland Waterways Association, but it needs work again.

The Friends of Melingriffith Water Pump are supporting the latest restoration, which is expected to start in February with the dismantling of the pump.

Much of the work is to take place in workshops throughout the rest of winter and spring, including refurbishment of the timber and treatment of the metalwork.

After this, the restored pump will be reassembled in the summer.

The hopes for the restoration, in April 2009

Stephanie Wilkins, chair of Friends of Melingriffith Water Pump, said they were excited about the project starting.

The group hopes to hold an event at the site.

"The structure and site is of importance to local people and those with special engineering and historical interests," she said.

"As a group we will be working hard to make this project an ongoing success and urge people to get involved in safeguarding this unique structure for future generations."

The Glamorgan canal once ran 25 miles from Merthyr to Cardiff's docklands. The tinplate works is thought to have originated from the middle of the 18th Century.

Councillor Nigel Howells, executive member for sport leisure and culture, said: "This pump is not only a landmark for the area but an important symbol and reminder of this region's industrial past."

Heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones, who has responsibility for Cadw, said: "I am pleased that this collaboration with the City and Council of Cardiff will be giving people the opportunity to see the pump as it was and to provide information about its purpose and role in the tin plate works and the area as a whole."

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