L’Astrolabe Bilge Pumps

Bilge PumpsIn the 18th Century, the Kings Vessels were equipped with pumps which allowed the removal of water from the bottom of the ship (the bilge). Each pump was approx. 10 metres in height and composed of three parts: 2 parts constructed of wood either end of a cental bronze cylinder.

There were 6 pumps on each ship, 4 around the main mast and 2 around the mizzen mast.

The two large flanged pipes which stand in the corner of one of the rooms (pictured prior to reduction in exhibition in 2009) were the pumping chamber of a Bilge Pump recovered from the wreck of the Astrolabe by diver, Reece Discombe in 1964. According to Reece the two pieces were found bolted together and were separated to aid Web Bilge Pumps 2015WEB Bilge Pumps 2015 2in their recovery, suggesting that the two pieces make up one unit.  (Bilge Pumps as they stand in corner 2015, without any interpretation).







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