Penpont Heritage Centre

The Wash House

Drawing by Jill HutchinsonThe water pump housed in the sandstone mount, in the back yard, supplied all the domestic water for the home - for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning.
Water was also drawn from here for the boiler and washhouse. On wash days the boiler would be filled, the fire lit beneath and the water heated for washing. When warm, some water would be bailed off into a tub and used to wash dirty clothing. Clothes would be rubbed on a washboard or agitated by a wooden ‘posser’. Cottons or linens might then be boiled.

Drawing by Jill HutchinsonWhen cleaned and rinsed, most of the water was removed by wringing or twisting each item. Then they were put through the mangle to squeeze the rest of the water out.

The washed clothing would then be hung out to dry. Finally, the dried clothing and bedding would be ironed with a flat iron, heated by the range.

People had much less clothing than we are accustomed to today. The general rule was: “one on, one off (in the wash) and one for best”.

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The Centre will open for the season on Saturday 7th April 2018, 2.00 - 4.00pm.  We will only be open on Saturdays during the season until further notice. We are happy to invite you to contact us to arrange a suitable time for a visit at other times. 


You can find the Post Office in the Joseph Thomson Room within the Centre on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons between 2.00 - 4.00pm.





We are pleased to have the Joseph Thomson Maasai Trust and the Olakira Le Maa Trust join our website. These new pages are: 

JT Maasai Trust

The Walk

The Olakira Le Maa Trust



 If you are looking for any heritage information please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.



We are planning to show some of the local films made by our Chairperson, Sophia Harkness during March 2018 and are also planning a talk by Hugh Buck, our secretary on his time in Kenya in the 60s. this will be introduced by Sophia.  Please check out the Forthcoming Events page for further information by clicking here.

Group Bookings

We welcome individuals, groups and school parties. Please contact us to arrange your booking.

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1. Become a member.

2. Donate/loan materials to our archives.

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