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The Vyne water pumps

August 15, 2011

Author: John Pollock – Long term volunteer buggy driver/gardener

The water pumps are located in an underground brick built structure on the south side of the lake. The pumps were removed for renovation in 2006 and returned in 2007. The work was carried out by Green & Carter Ltd, the company which was responsible for the original installation.

The waterwheel driven pump was installed in 1864. Power is transmitted from the overshot waterwheel by means of a pair of gearwheels, which in turn drive three vertical pistons. The pump supplied lake water to the Mansion and the Brewhouse. A sluice gate controls the speed of the waterwheel and hence the output from the pump.

The more powerful Hydraulic Ram Pump was installed for Sir Charles Chute on October 4th 1919.

The basic principle of a Hydraulic Ram is to use a flow of water to pump a fraction of that water to a greater height. Although it is a simple device with only two moving valves, the pump action is very complex. See this technical guide for more information: The Vyne – Ram Pump


The Ram supplied water to the mansion, farm reservoir and Sherborne Cowdary House.

It is hoped in the future to pump lake water to a storage tank behind the walled garden. The water to be used for irrigation of the garden and possibly to flush the visitor toilets.

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