Situated in the blissfully idyllic Vale of Pewsey is a hidden gem of Wiltshire heritage; Crofton Beam Engines are the oldest working steam engines in the world. Magnificent examples of industrial archaeology, two beam engines, one an original 200-year-old Boulton & Watt, are fed by a hand-stoked, coal-fired Lancashire boiler.
Crofton Pumping Station was purchased by Kennet and Avon Canal Trust in 1968 with the aim of restoring it to full working order following a decade out of service. A team of dedicated and ambitious volunteers overhauled the engines and since November 1971 both engines have been regularly steamed and are open to the public during summer months.
In the summer of 2017 GCSE Art students at Pewsey Vale School had the opportunity to discover this piece of their local heritage through a photography assignment commissioned by the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre through its Heritage Lottery Funded Creative Wiltshire Project.
Students spent a day with photographer Penney Ellis, developing their skills and exploring creative opportunities to photograph the engines and pumping station.
You can read more about this Crofton Beam Engine Experience on the Creative Wiltshire blog.