Cemeteries and Sewerage: the Victorian pursuit of cleanliness (Sheffield)

Papplewick Pumping Station, Nottinghamshire

Thursday September 17th-Monday September 21st 2020

This tour is a follow-up to a London-based tour that took place in 2015, illustrating the same historical themes through different sites of relevant interest.

The Sanitary Question was the great environmental concern of the nineteenth century.  The growth of great cities presented huge problems of water supply, sewage disposal and the disposal of the dead.

This major public-health crisis – comparable in seriousness if not in scale to today’s preoccupation with climate change – took most of the nineteenth century to resolve, and the resulting cemeteries, sewers and pumping stations remain as a testimony to the energy and ingenuity of Victorian engineers, landscape designers and architects.

The programme will include visits to Claymills Pumping Station near Burton-on-Trent, Abbey Pumping Station in Leicester and the ornate Papplewick Pumping Station outside Nottingham which will be in steam, a succession of Victorian cemeteries across Sheffield, a tour of the Derbyshire reservoirs at Howden, Derwent and Ladybower, and a coach-journey following the course of the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 from the Dale Dike Dam through the centre of Sheffield to the Lower Don Valley.

The full tour outline is currently in preparation and will be online in October.

Everyone on the current mailing list will be notified as soon as booking opens.  Newcomers are very welcome:  if you’d like to receive an alert by e-mail or post, please contact –

Mike Higginbottom Interesting Times

63 Vivian Road


S5 6WJ