Tees Cottage Pumping Station School Visits

Tees Cottage Pumping Station opened in 1849 to supply ‘clean’ drinking water to the population of Darlington. Further extensions enabled water, extracted from the River Tees, to be cleaned and pumped, from Darlington, to supply the industrial and domestic needs of Teesside.


The technology for providing this supply was initially provided by Beam Engines, then by Gas Engines and eventually by Electric Pumps.

Although the site no longer pumps water to customers, the 1904 Beam Engine, driven by steam generated in the Lancashire Boilers, and the 1914 Gas Engine, now using natural gas a s a fuel, are both in working order.

Students visiting the site will be able to see for themselves how technology developed in post Victorian Britain and how these great machines were designed, constructed and operated without the availability of computers, software and sophisticated machine tools required for the technology of the 21st Century.

A visit to the site will enable students to discuss the technology with experts and hopefully gain an appreciation of how technological advancements have enabled us to achieve the engineering standards we have today.

Particular interests may be in the fields of:

  • materials of construction – cast iron, brass, bronze, leather, glass, brick, wood, etc
  • energy sources – coal, anthracite, coke, petrol, gas, electricity, steam
  • manufacturing – the operating Smithy, workshops
  • technology – Beam Engine, Boilers, Gas Engine, Pumps, Engines
  • chemistry – Gas Production
  • processes – water filtration.

TCPS would be very happy to discuss specific curricula requirements with educational establishments and develop appropriate topics for student visits.