Memorable yet largely unknown
A red-brick sentinel stands slowly crumbling at the edge of a container park. Its ornate appearance belies a practical role: it originally contained the steam engine to operate the locks at Langton Dock.
Later on, as shipping declined, the dock was left to languish; time, neglect, and Atlantic rain have left the pumphouse looking cragged and derelict. Thanks to its remote location, however, the usual stalkers of abandoned buildings, crime and vandalism, have bypassed it.
The pumphouse is certainly savable and should be regarded – like many buildings on the docks – as a valuable example of Britain’s seafaring history as well as a dramatic piece of architecture. The port owners should repair this impressive building and the council should pressure them to ensure that the work is carried out. It could, perhaps, find a new role as a unique and striking dock office.
Closer view, through fence:
Photo by Jim McLeod