Lording's Waterwheel

This unusual waterwheel was used to lift water from the River Arun to the summit pound of the Arun Navigation which terminated at Newbridge near Billingshurst. The wheel is unusual in that one side of the blades or paddles is used in an undershot configuration to turn the wheel using the river flow. The other sides of the paddles are cupped and used to lift river water into the canal. The waterwheel is next to a three arch aqueduct which carried the canal over the river, the flow through one of the arches being used for the waterwheel.

A cottage used to be on the site adjacent to the waterwheel. The occupant of the cottage would have looked after the wheel and the lock which is adjacent to and downstream of the aqueduct. Whether the waterwheel was built as part of the original canal design or added later is not known, as no records of its history are still in existence.

At 14' (4.2 metres) in diameter the wheel, when rotating at a leisurely 2 rpm, lifts 1,800 gallons per hour (8,100 litres/hour) through a head of about 10' (3 metres).

The Waterwheel on May 23, 2004, the day of the Lording's small boat rally.
The Waterwheel on May 23, 2004. This was its first public demonstration following it's restoration.
A view of the paddles looking into the wheel chamber.
waterwheel diagram
A diagram of the Wheel displayed at the site.
waterwheel paddles
New aluminium scoops being fitted to the wheel to replace the temporary wooden ones. May 26, 2005.

Last updated May 2005