There are two reasons why the Cromford Canal terminates at Cromford: Sir Richard Arkwright was prepared to invest in the waterway in order to secure cheap, easy transportation for his cotton mills, and he had built his water-powered factories at Cromford to take advantage of two reliable sources of water – the Bonsall Brook and the Cromford Moor Sough, a lead-mine adit draining the ore-field below Wirksworth. Its water emerged at a constant year-round temperature of 52°F so that the upper section of the canal hardly ever froze in winter.
Sir Richard Arkwright would have preferred the canal to take water from the River Derwent above Masson Mill, presumably to protect the supply to his mills at Cromford. Instead, after the sough-water had powered the mills it entered the canal through a culvert at Cromford Wharf, later supplemented by an open channel to a second basin.
Soon after the opening of the Cromford Canal, reservoirs were constructed at the watershed between the Amber and Erewash Valleys, at Butterley, Butterley Park (drained in the late 1930s) and Codnor Park, to supply the Nottingham Canal by way of the flight of locks from Codnor Park to Langley Bridge.
The lead miners ultimately needed to extract ore from below the level of the Cromford Moor Sough and in 1772 began to dig the Meerbrook Sough, a lead-mine adit which drains into the River Derwent just north of Whatstandwell.
When the Meerbrook Sough opened circa 1836 it deprived the Cromford Canal of the dependable supply of thermal water from the older Cromford Moor Sough, and obliged the Canal Company to construct the Leawood Pump.
Designed by Graham & Co of Elsecar, South Yorkshire and completed in 1849, the pump is a Cornish-type engine located beside the aqueduct over the River Derwent, lifting water thirty feet from the river during the weekend hours when the water-mills downstream were closed.
The stone chimney, 95 feet high, has a cast-iron crown with a Venturi device to improve the draught.
The existing locomotive-type boilers were manufactured by the Midland Railway and installed in a specially built extension to the engine house in 1904.
After years of neglect the engine was restored to working order in 1979.
The pump house is open to visitors from Easter to October: https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/countryside/countryside-sites/wildlife-amenity/leawood-pumphouse.aspx.