Lake Canobolas Pump House

Lake Canobolas was originally built as Meadow Creek Reservoir in 1917.The Pump House contains the equipment that was used to pump water from Lake Canobolas to the town of Orange from 1918 to 1957.


Meadow Creek Dam, Orange 7 May 1918. Later Lake Canobolas. View of dam wall, pump house and caretaker’ s residence

The Pump House contains three separate pieces of equipment. The first produces gas using charcoal, coal or coke. The gas produced then operated the suction gas engine that is situated in the centre of the shed. The two pumps, each consisting of three pumping pistons, are located at the far end of the shed.

The gas producing end of the shed is 7.315 metres (24ft) long and include the gas generator, coke scrubber and coke dump. It is assumed that the plat was set up to run on coke as only traces of this have been found.

Manufacturers were Richard Hornsby and Sons Ltd of Grantham and Stockport, England. The plant was dispatched from England on 24 February 1915 for Melbourne. It is a double cylinder suction gas engine rated at 128 horsepower, engine number 50137. This was the last engine built by Richard Hornsby and Sons Ltd prior to World War I when the plant was given over to the war effort.

Restoration of the Pump House and Engine was carried out by student of Fitting and Machining, Carpentry and Joinery, Painting and Decoration and Plumbing from Orange TAFE as a Bicentennial Project to commemorate the nation’s Bicentenary in 1988.

Lake Canobolas Pump House is situated at Lake Canobolas Reserve. Proceed west from Orange towards Nashdale on the Cargo Road and follow the signs for approximately 8kms. The Pump House is located on the eastern side of Lake Canobolas and is open daily from 7.30am till dusk.


Internal engine of Lake Canobolas Pump House