Plumbing Museum and Workshop Trust #PMWT

The Plumbing Museum and Workshop Trust is based in the Gin Building at Amberley Museum in West Sussex.

Lead planter made by Liveryman Eddie McCourt at the Plumbing Museum and Workshop Trust


Maintaining the Ancient Craft of Leadwork

The Plumbing Museum and Workshop Trust (PMWT) provides a unique role to the Worshipful Company of Plumbers. It achieves this in two main ways from its base at Amberley Museum in West Sussex, handily located next to Amberley Station:

1. It exhibits and looks after plumbing tools and artifacts. The exhibited artifacts are examples of the Ancient Craft of Leadwork, some of which date back to Roman times;

2. It provides a working Traditional Craft Leadwork Workshop for educational and demonstration purposes.

The Trust

The Worshipful Company of Plumbers’ Plumbing Museum and Workshop Trust, to give it its full name, is a separate Charitable Company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 06253985, Charity No. 1120568.

A board of Trustees, all of whom are are Court Members of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, manage the Trust :

David Hamilton – Chairman
Edward Hopkinson – Vice Chairman
Mike Swallow
Steve Hodkinson
John Lockyer
Sandra Raine

Wendy Hamilton is the PMWT Treasurer.

Traditional Craft Leadwork

The Trust puts on regular demonstrations of Traditional Craft Leadwork, seeking to keep alive some of the ancient crafts of plumbing, and sharing these with the public. A group of talented, trained volunteers, led by Liveryman Peter Cheesman, run the demonstrations and the Trust has a long history of creating items cast from Lead. Two recent examples include:

1. A Lead Planter for St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, inscribed in recognition of ‘their devoted service and selfless dedication by all of the National Health Service during the Covid 19 pandemic’.

See here the Master, Nick Jones with members of the Plumbing Museum and Workshop Trust:

L to R: Eddie McCourt, Nick Jones, Peter Cheesman, Alan Stocks, and Jon Richard


2. To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a wonderful Planter was created, which is now in place at Windsor Castle by the Queen’s Pavilion. The Royal Household are delighted with the Planter, and it will be on show for their main cricket events in 2022, and beyond:


The Trust was established in 1980 when a Workshop was set up by the Company at the Court Barn at Weald and Down Living Museum in Singleton, West Sussex. This was a collection of plumbing tools, and an exhibition illustrating the role of the plumber and his skills. The exhibition aimed to tell the public more about water supply and disposal throughout the ages. It was re-opened on 27 March 1994, as a working demonstration facility after a complete updating of the facility.

In 2014, in commemoration of the Company’s 650th anniversary, 64 Anniversary Lead Planters were made and sold in aid of the Company charities. Our grateful thanks to the late Phil Mead, Peter Cheesman, and all the other people associated with our previous Traditional Craft Leadwork demonstration facility at Weald and Down Museum, where the Planters were made. This was an enormous project for the volunteers. Peter Cheesman made one more special Planter, which he presented to the Company at the July 2015 Court Dinner.

Lead Planters made in the Workshop, were presented to Her Majesty the Queen, and are placed in the gardens at both Buckingham Palace and at Sandringham.

The demonstration facility was relocated to Amberley Museum in 2017, but the Trust still maintains a static exhibition at the ‘Plumber’s Workshop’ at Weald and Down Living Museum.