About Sherborne Steam & Waterwheel Centre

Sherborne Steam & Waterwheel Centre, a registered Charity number 1099153. It  is run by a local group of volunteers who over the past 25 years have rescued the waterwheel and its house from serious neglect. The wheel, 26 feet in diameter having steel rims, 72 steel buckets, and a cast iron rim-gear, is unique in having three leats providing water in breast shot array; it also has a system of ventilated buckets invented by William Fairbairn in the early part of the 19th century. It was installed to provide clean water for the inhabitants of Sherborne in 1869 and ran until 1959.

At the time when rescue work began there had already been substantial damage to the wheel through immersion in water and debris some of which unfortunately is permanent.

The Hindley engine at Sherborne Gas Works The Hindley engine at Sherborne Gas Works

The wheel was so seriously corroded that it is has had to be rebuilt at a cost of £60,000. We have now raised this money through the generosity of donations from visitors and substantial grants from the following organisations:

Sherborne Town Council; West Dorset District Council; Simon Digby Memorial Trusts; Garfield Weston Trust; Manifold Trust; Pilgrim Trust; Prism Grant Fund; Awards for All; Wessex Watermark Award, Sherborne & District Society (local branch of CPRE).

In 1876 a Hindley Steam engine was installed to boost the output of the waterwheel and we now have a similar engine which has been refurbished and is in a new Hindley Museum building funded by Chalk and Cheese, the European Agricultural Fund for European Development 2007-2013, Headley Trust and the Leisure Development Fund. In addition we have another Hindley steam engine, rather smaller - the engines will be running under steam on Open Days.

The Hindley steam engine The Hindley steam engine

We are exteremly grateful for your support.

Come along and see the new waterwheel and the Hindley steam engines under steam on open days.

The Museum is located on Oborne Road, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3RX.

There is limited parking on site, additional parking available nearby on Oborne Road 

Open Days are Sundays, see dates on the opening times page, from 11:30am to 3:30pm - entry is by donation.


For more information see also Facebook Sherborne Steam. 

  • Limited parking on site and nearby on Oborne Road.
  • Lots of room for picnics.
The Hindley engine restored The Hindley engine restored

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