A Lingering Look at The Pump Rooms

This weekly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.

This unusual building is the ‘Pump Rooms’ in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, built and designed by William Cranston of Birmingham in 1861.

the pump rooms
The tower is not really leaning that badly – blame it on parallax!

It was built in oriental Chinese Gothic style (oh really?) and is one of the earliest examples of prefabrication. The metal prefabricated sheets were made in Birmingham and assembled on site.

the pump rooms 4

Inside the Pump Rooms
Inside the Pump Rooms

It was built to promote Tenbury Wells as a spa town after a saline spring was found in the grounds of the Crow Inn. The 58 ft well is situated below the octagonal tower. It was aimed for middle and working classes,  but never attracted the clientèle.  The building fell into disrepair and in 1939 the well was filled in. It was later restored by the district councils of Leominster and Malvern Hills with the help of English Heritage. It is now used as an administrative office, by the community for events and also for weddings.

(click to enlarge)

Unusual shaped windows
Unusual shaped windows

(source of information from Tenbury Tourist Information Centre and information plaque)

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

14 thoughts on “A Lingering Look at The Pump Rooms”

  1. Glad to hear that the building was put back to good use Jude. I doubt that middle class office workers and working class people had much spare time, or money, to go to Spa Towns in the 1860’s. Nice idea though. The windows must be unique to that place, a rare window-find!
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. Apparently that was the problem, and the wealthier folk went to Malvern instead. It’s a unique building, I don’t think I have ever come across anything described as ‘Chinese Gothic’ before. The trapezium-shaped windows fascinate me, why are our buildings so boring these days?

  2. Some are still good, like The Shard, and City Hall in London, but they cost squillions; and ‘ordinary’ buildings of unusual design are indeed hard to find anymore Jude. x
    (I suppose Brighton Pavilion counts as Chinese Regency, but I cannot recall Chinese Gothic anywhere else.)

    1. I had no idea about it, we just decided to go and have a wander around the town one day last summer! Glad you like 🙂

  3. Great find, Jude…almost missed this as WordPress is messing me about today. Took me forever to post today, and I’ve had to re ‘follow’ you and doubtless others…

    1. I often find blogs I follow don’t appear in the Reader, I go looking if I am expecting a post. Had huge problems last week with images on blogs not showing up, including mine, and this week I had several issues on uploading photos when the site would simply freeze and I had to reload the page. Glad you found me eventually!

  4. This is fascinating and beautiful. Thanks for taking the time to enhance your post with an interesting story. Sad to think of those that invested in what seemed like such a good idea only to have it fail.

    1. Glad you like it Dawn, this must be the most unusual building I have seen, and the only window that is trapezium-shaped!

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