Thomas Hawksley, born in Arnold on 12 July 1807, became one of the leading British water engineers of the nineteenth century.
Locally, he was engineer to the Nottingham Waterworks Company for more than half a century. He was responsible for designing Bestwood Pumping Station, built in the early 1870s just a few miles north of his birthplace on land owned by the Duke of St Albans.
Bestwood Pumping Station by Chris Allen
The design had to meet with the Duke’s approval, so the surrounding grounds were laid out to a careful design with the buildings and cooling ponds arranged for ornamental effect.
The chimney was disguised as a 52 metre high campanile which, together with its stained-glass windows and other ornate details, made the Pumping Station look like a true cathedral of industry. It stands as a prominent landmark next to the A60 Mansfield Road to the north.
The Bestwood Pumping Station site is listed on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.
Several of the structures are also listed, including the pump house (grade 2*), lodges and the cooling pond together with several cast iron lamps.
The site was reopened in April 2021 as a wedding/events/dining venue.