This is probably the largest working waterwheel in Dorset, measuring 26 feet (nearly 8 metres) in diameter and 3’9” (114cms) in width. It has a special place in Sherborne’s history because of its role in providing a water supply for the town from 1869 after which the death rate from water-borne diseases was reduced by more than a half. It continued as a very efficient method of pumping water to the reservoir in the Bristol Road until 1959 when it went out of use.
In 1876 a Hindley steam engine and boiler were installed in a new building to augment the supply of water delivered by the waterwheel. A refurbished similar engine that came from Gillingham Brickworks has been installed and will be running under steam on open days.
In 1981 an organisation was formed to restore and repair the wheel which was re-installed in early 2008 and can be seen on open working days; a steam engine now significantly adds to the Centres’ attractions.
Access is from Oborne Road, down a lane 100 yards from the Castleton / Long Street / Newland junction.
For opening times and entrance charges please refer to the website: www.sswc.co.uk