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MELINGRIFFITH WATER PUMP, MELINGRIFFITH

Site Details



NPRN 34441

Map Reference ST17NW

Grid Reference ST1420279974

Unitary (Local) Authority Cardiff

Old County Glamorgan

Community Whitchurch

Type of Site PUMP

Broad Class INDUSTRIAL

Period 19th Century, Post Medieval

Site Description 1. Constructed in 1807 to pump waste water from the tailrace of the Melingriffith Tinplate Works (nprn 40456) feeder to the Glamorganshire Canal (nprn 34425); The pump was driven by an undershot waterwheel, 14ft 6in diameter, set in a channel adjacent to the feeder and linked to two cylinder pumps. To be restored. There is an overflow whereby excess water in the canal can be passed to the feeder.
Site visited B.A.Malaws, RCAHMW, May 1981.

2. The eminent engineer John Rennie built this waterwheel operated pump in 1807 so that water could be used to power the Melingriffith Tinplate Works and then fed to the adjacent Glamorganshire Canal. The undershot waterwheel is 18' 6'' in diameter and 12' 6'' wide, operating 5' stroke pumps encased in two 2' 8'' diameter cast-iron cylinders via two 22' long American oak beams. Three-quarters of a mile of canal in water remains to the north of this point.
(Site entry by Stephen Hughes for Buildings of Glamorgan, John Newman, 1995)
B.A.Malaws, RCAHMW, 14 November 2002.

3. Designed by Cyfarthfa engineer, Watkin George, installed 1793 to return precious water to the canal from tinplate works tailrace. Although John Rennie proposed replacing it with a 'fire engine' in 1806 the Melingriffith company would not contribute to the cost. There is no proof that what remains is not George's original design but it is generally believed to be a Rennie replacement. Renovated by IWA and OHIAS in 1980s, and now in the care of Cardiff City Council, but deteriorating. When the tinplate works were demolished and replaced by a housing estate in the late 1980s, the feeder, from the weir across the River Taff, was perpetuated by the WDA to allow eventual future operation of the preserved Melingriffith pump.
(A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of South East Wales, AIA, 2003)
B.A.Malaws, RCAHMW, 12 August 2005.

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