Home Newsletter Locations Diary
Topic Alpha County Sections By

Travellers Resource

Buxton Pump Room Then and Now

Buxton, Derbyshire

Location Guide

Buxton is the highest market town in England at over 1000 foot above sea level, and located in the Peak District. Buxton still calls itself a Spa town. Its thermal springs were attractions in Roman times when Buxton was known as Aquae Arnemetiae. Mary, Queen of Scots, visited Buxton on several occasions, whilst being kept a prisoner, before her execution in 1587. She used the thermal waters to cure her rheumatism. Today the water can be bought bottled worldwide or collected free from St Ann's Well next to the pump room. The water comes from around 5,000 feet below.

The Pump Room was built in the late 19th century, although the crescent dates from between 1779 and 1789 built by the 5th Duke of Devonshire, to the design of John Carr, it is similar to the more famous Crescent in Bath. The Duke was attempting to establish Buxton as a fashionable Spa and a challenger to Bath. The Crescent was originally conceived as two purpose built hotels separated by six lodging houses, and over the years has boasted a mixture of coffee shops, card rooms and ground floor shops.

The Pump Room stopped being used as a Pump Room in the mid 1970s and became a Micrarium, where microscopic organisms and geological specimens could be studied by the public. This was the world's first Micrarium but this did not catch on and closed in 1995. It has been used for other uses since but as at August 2010 was no longer in use.

Buxton Pump Room around 1905 - Photochrome

Today you cannot see this view, the problem is that when people plant trees they grow, and now the grass mound is hidden by all the large trees.

As it is now (2010)

The original view was taken from the roof of the Crescent. This is currently being renovated.

The Pump Room has had windows put in and has been used as a building, but in August 2010 did not appear to be in use, and there are no signs to indicate its shortly to be renovated. Many other Spa towns make a big feature of their Pump Rooms and draw in tourists, so its surprising that Buxton has not done the same. It would not be difficult to trim the trees back, make the Crescent area pedestrianized or get some horse drawn pleasure carriages and make this a major feature. 

Behind the Crescent is the large dome of what was originally a stable block to hold 110 horses, then it became the Devonshire Hospital and now is a part of a University. The unsupported dome is 145ft across and was the worlds largest until 1902. It's still the largest dome in the UK.

A view from the grass mound over the Pump Room to the crescent

On the top of the grass mound in the 1905 photo is a building, this is the Town Hall.

The spring water that was served in the Pump Room is still available and collected by many from the FREE spring next to it. The water always comes out of the ground at 28 degrees C. The source of the water is from behind the Eagle Parade and is piped to the well. Eagle Parade is at the top of the grass mound the other side of the Town Hall. This would have also have served the Pump Room.

Location: Buxton Pump Room, Buxton, Derbyshire

Grid Reference: SK058735 Ceremonial County: Derbyshire

Map Link: Multimap    Google

Aerial photo: Multimap    Google

Getting there: The Pump Room is in the crescent, in the centre of Buxton.

Access: There is parking at the top of the mound in front of the Town Hall, which is usually empty on a Sunday morning. There is plenty of other parking around the town and is only a short walk from the Pump Room. Buxton is hilly as you can see in some of the images above.

Other Useful Websites: Wikipedia on Buxton  

Wikipedia Devonshire Royal Hospital and Dome

Postcode: Telephone:
Opening Times: the building does not appear now to be in sue so will not be open.

Charges: street views free

Nearby Locations: Buxton The Gardens
Other Location Pages: Then and Now Locations     Derbyshire Then and Now Locations 

Other Relevant Pages: Then and Now Photography

Photochrome Photo Archive for more Photochrome images from this area.





Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Grid(s) or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Keith Park  Section: Photography Section Key:
Page Ref: Buxton_Pump_Room Topic: Comparative Photography  Last Updated: 08/2010


This page:

Link directly to this page, with text or the button on right.

Text linking: Buxton Pump Room Then & Now on Photographers Resource

Linking Instructions                            http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/

Photographers Resource, all the information for the photographer