The Paxton Trust is set to restore the waterwheel and beam pump of one of Scotland’s oldest domestic water supply systems thanks to grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, BCCF Environmental (Scottish Borders Council Landfill Communities Fund monies) and the Fallago Environment Fund. HLF has announced an award of £56,500.
An eighteenth century stone cistern connected to several natural springs in Paxton Dene and the foundations of a waterwheel and machinery to pump that clean water up to Paxton House had been discovered by local volunteers. Only fragments of the original plant were discovered at Paxton, but a very similar wheel and pump were found lying derelict at nearby Blackadder Mount. That led to a plan from heritage engineering consultant Jim Mitchell to recommission the Blackadder machinery on the Paxton site as a working heritage feature.
The Paxton Trust is extremely grateful to the volunteers who are leading this project; to Blair Harrower for the donation of the historic machinery; and to the HLF and other donors for awarding the funds required to complete the job. Work will start soon to restore the site and the machinery, and to create an access path so that visitors will be able to see one of Scotland’s oldest pumped domestic water systems working again. The project will take a year to complete, and the waterwheel will start turning when Paxton House opens for the 2018 season.
Paxton trustee John Home Robertson said “Paxton House is famous for its Adam architecture and its Chippendale furniture, but the people who lived and worked here in 1790 needed clean water, which had to be pumped up the brae from Paxton Dene. It will be great to see a waterwheel driving a beam pump here again, and we are very grateful to the HLF and the other funders for supporting this initiative”.
Paxton House Education Officer Hermione Hoffmann added “We will be working with local schools to record the restoration work during 2017, and we are looking for volunteers to help to maintain and operate the waterwheel and pump for the benefit of our visitors”.
Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said “Uncovering where and how our ancestors lived helps communities to understand their own history and identity. Thanks to National Lottery players. HLF is able to support projects such as the restoration of the waterwheel and beam pump at Paxton House, that produce tantalising clues about the past and provide volunteers with new skills”.
Keeps your eyes peeled for future updates about the waterwheel. We will be tracking the progress of the project through our website and social media.
We just want to take a minute to highlight the beautiful lodge we have here at Paxton House that is a wonderful retreat for couples wanting a long weekend away.
The lodge sits at the entrance to the estate and has a garden for those Summer days. It is perfectly situated to explore the Scottish Borders and North Northumberland, only being 3 miles from Berwick-Upon-Tweed and the A1. We also offer 10% off in The Stables Tearoom and The Regency Gift Shop!
Curl up in the beautifully clean living room, it features a lovely log burning stove to use during those cold winter nights.
There is also a lovely sized double bedroom for a cosy nights sleep after a day of exploring the grounds and Paxton House gems.
And we can’t forget those furry friends, your pets are very welcome to stay here at Paxton Houses South Lodge. There are lovely riverside walks and more throughout the grounds, even enjoy an 8km walk to Berwick-Upon-Tweed, or head along to the Union Chain Bridge and up to the Chain Bridge Honey Farm.
There is so much to do when staying here at the Paxton estate you will just have to come back for more.
Paxton House Caravan park is located in a beautiful wee walled garden on the estate. It can hold 15 caravan’s at any one time and provides a peaceful and tranquil spot to enjoy a break!
Enjoy the run of 80 acres of estate grounds, including woodland and a stunning riverside and only being 5 miles away from Berwick-upon-Tweed for shops and restaurants.
Visitors to the Caravan Park are offered the following services:
- Battery charging
- Electrical hook ups
- Drainage facilities/ disposal points: chemical and grey water waste
- Stables Café and Regency Shop – we are pleased to offer visitors to the park 10% discount in both the shop and the café, please call into the shop for your discount card
- Unlimited free access to the Paxton grounds, including an Adventure Playground
- Discounted entry to the house for a guided tour
- Child and dog friendly
Fully booked caravan site
Check out some of the reviews for our caravan site…
“We took our touring caravan here for a few days break after having visited Paxton House several times in the past. What we found was a lovely site set in the walled garden with Electric hookup and plenty of room between the caravans.
We had the best time and would have happily stayed much longer if we hadn’t had to go back to work. ” – Gill R
“We used the Paxton House Caravan Touring Caravan Park as a base to look at the area. The site is excellent with large pitches in an enclosed walled garden.
The tour of the house is well worth the cost as it’s informative and the way the house is laid out makes it easy to go back in time to try and understand what happened all those years ago. The grounds are beautiful and extensive and it’s just a 30 minutes walk to the famous chain bridge.
From here it’s also easy to explore the walled town of Berwick and The Holy Island of Lindisfarne.” – It can be done
“Husband & I stayed on the lovely Paxton House ‘walled garden’ caravan site for 16 nights. Whilst there we did a very interesting escorted tour of the very impressive, well kept house. We also visited The Stables cafe, which we can highly recommend – they also did a ‘pop-up’ restaurant on 20th & 27th August and we were fortunate to get in on the 21st. The food was excellent, staff very friendly and a lovely atmosphere. Being alongside the river Tweed there are some lovely walks( including a walk to the Chain Bridge, as well as round Paxton House itself. There is also a play area for children. In Paxton village (half a mile away) there is an excellent, lovingly refurbished pub (The Cross), which we can highly recommend the meals. We found Berwick very interesting (with free parking!!).” – Hull_Englandgill