History in Structure

Cast-iron water pump and stone basin outside Heath Cottages

A Grade II Listed Building in Layer-de-la-Haye, Essex

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Latitude: 51.8494 / 51°50'57"N

Longitude: 0.8594 / 0°51'33"E

OS Eastings: 597040

OS Northings: 220622

OS Grid: TL970206

Mapcode National: GBR RMC.23B

Mapcode Global: VHKG4.VS63

Plus Code: 9F32RVX5+QQ

Entry Name: Cast-iron water pump and stone basin outside Heath Cottages

Listing Date: 28 September 2021

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1475921

ID on this website: 101475921

Location: Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester, Essex, CO2

County: Essex

District: Colchester

Civil Parish: Layer-de-la-Haye

Built-Up Area: Layer-de-la-Haye

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


A parish water pump, erected after 1890.


A water pump, erected in the late C19 or early C20, made by Joseph Evans and Sons of Wolverhampton.

MATERIALS: cast iron, with a stone basin.

EXTERIOR: the pump consists of a cast-iron column with a water-spout projecting from near the top, with a notched section on top of the spout from which the user could hang their bucket. Positioned to the right of the spout is the long, slightly curved handle of the pump. The upper portion of the column is fluted, and the pump is surmounted by a decorative fluted dome, topped with a pointed finial. The side of the column bears a lion rampant- a maker’s mark used by Joseph Evans and Sons of Wolverhampton. The pump is painted black. There is a small stone basin underneath it to catch surplus water.


For centuries, water for domestic and agricultural use was drawn from wells. By the C18 water was typically pumped up, rather than drawn via a bucket, in areas of urban expansion. Many villages, however, did not get pumps until the late C19, and many villages depended on pump water until well into the C20.

The first edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map dated 1881 shows that there were no houses in this area of Layer-de-la-Haye at the time, but the position of the pump is marked “well”. There are a series of wells marked, along what is now the High Road, and alongside Layer-de-la-Haye common, probably for agricultural use. By the second edition OS map dated 1898 some houses have been built along High Road and Heath Road. The position of the wells are now marked by just “W”. By the third edition OS map, dated 1924, the wells are not marked, with the exception of this one. It seems likely, therefore, that this pump at The Heath was positioned here between 1890 and 1924.

The pump is made by Joseph Evans and Sons of Wolverhampton, who made huge numbers of these cast-iron pumps to be located all around the country. This pump design, depicting a lion rampant on the side, was made from around 1890, until the early C20. It is not known if this pump is still operational.

Reasons for Listing

The cast iron water pump and stone basin dating from the late C19 to early C20 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the pump is a decorative design by Joseph Evans and Son of Wolverhampton;
* it survives well, complete with its stone water basin.

Historic interest:

* this pump has survived in its original location, since it was positioned here between 1890 and 1924;
* it serves as a reminder of how people lived before running water was available in their houses.

External Links

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