Situated in the Wiltshire countryside 6 miles from the picturesque market town of Marlborough, the Crofton Pumping Station is a Grade 1 listed building houses two magnificent Cornish beam engines, one of which (the 1812 Boulton and Watt) is the oldest working beam engine in the world still in its original engine house and capable of actually doing the job for which it was installed.
Crofton Pumping Station was built in 1807 to provide water to the summit of the Kennet and Avon Canal. The first engine installed in the building was a 36 inch bore Boulton and Watt which had a wooden beam, this was installed in 1809. In 1812, a 42 inch bore Boulton and Watt engine was installed beside it. In 1846, the 36 inch bore Boulton and Watt was replaced by a Sims Combined Cylinders Engine constructed by Harvey of Hayle.
Both the 1812 Boulton and Watt, and the 1846 Harvey engine (in its final form) are in working condition, and are steamed publicly on several weekends through the summer months from a coal fired Lancashire boiler. When the Pumping Station is in steam, it actually carries out the job for which it was built, the electrically powered pumps that now normally do the job being switched off.
During the Summer months, the visiting public have access to all parts of the station, whether in steam or not, and when in steam, can experience close up the smell and sounds of these wonderful relics of our past in operation. Refreshments and souvenirs are available in the shop which is in a former boiler house, and there is plenty of room in the grounds for sitting and enjoying the splendid views. There is ample parking for visitors in the car park opposite. Details of opening times and entry charges are provided here. It is still possible to find the information to find the cache when the pumping station is closed.
You can park opposite the pumping station for 50p for 2 hours.
You will need the following information.
- How many iron bands are there on the chimney. This is AB
- What year was the boiler made. This is CDEF
The coordinates of the final cache are N51 21.B(B-A)(E-F) W001 37.C(B+C)D
When the pumping station is open you can proceed under the railway, over the lock gates and along the towpath towards the cache. At other times you can drive or walk to N51 21.678 W001 37.325 and cross the railway there. From there it is a short walk to the cache.
The cache is an ammo box containing the usual goodies.
This cache is 1 of 37 caches hidden along 19 miles of the Kennet and Avon canal between and Thatcham and Great Bedwyn via Newbury, Kintbury, Hungerford, Froxfield and Little Bedwyn.
GCNX4V Monkey March Lock
GCJTY7 Between Two Locks by Subarite
GCNX4N Widmead Lock
GCNX47 Bull's Lock
GCNV5Y Ham Lock by Alibags
GCNV6B The Narrowboat by Alibags
GCMRDJ Greenham Lock by Alibags
GCDAFC Along the canal (Berks) by Paul Blitz
GCK0K9 Lock, Stock and Barrel (Berks)
GCN79X Monkey Bridge by d&c
GCKA2W Guyer's Lock (Berks)
GCJCPG Canal Bypass by dogastus
GCK87H Benham Bridge
GCK8NP Hamstead Lock
GCK8NR Copse Lock
GCK8NV Dreweat's Lock
GCGGHW Shepherd's Bridge
GCMMBM Kintbury Lock II
GCK87T Brunsden's Lock
GCK87P Wire Lock
GCHGKY Hunger for this too (300 yards from the canal)
GCK87W Hungerford Lock
GCKYHA Marsh Lock
GCKYHC Cobbler's Lock
GCM1KV Picketfield Lock
GCQGK6 Between by The White Family
GCM3G2 Froxfield Lock
GCHRBT Something for Everyone by The Scooby Snacks + The Rangers of Ithilien
GCM547 Fore Bridge
GCM6V4 Little Bedwyn Lock
GCM6V5 Potter's Lock
GCM86J Great Bedwyn Lock
GCM86M Church Lock
GCN0PV Mill Bridge
GCN0R6 Beech Grove Lock
GCN0RB Wilton Brail Lock
GCJCBJ Crofton Beam Engines
The towpath is well maintained and suitable for cycling. There is a railway line running parallel with the canal with stations at Thatcham, Newbury, Kintbury, Hungerford and Great Bedwyn, so you could park at one station, walk the towpath finding caches and then catch the train back.
Please check out the Geocaching Association of Great Britain
offering support for Geocachers in the UK