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Andrew Shepherd



Newsletter 23






The Águas Livres aqueduct, completed in 1799, ensured that water from the Serra de Sintra catchment area could reach Lisbon. It is a familiar sight to residents of Lisbon and visitors alike. In the second half of the 19th century, however, it was clear that this water would not continue to be enough to meet the growing population and increased per capita water demands of the capital city. To supply the demand for water at the time, a new aqueduct was built between 1871 and 1880 to transport water collected 114km north of Lisbon from the Olhos de Água sources (Santarém) on the Alviela river. On reaching Lisbon the water was stored in a reservoir built within the former Franciscan Barbadinhos convent grounds. The problem of how to move the water from the reservoir to the people of Lisbon was solved with the installation of pumps powered by steam engines supplied by a company owned by a British father and son named Windsor. What initially seems strange about this is that the Windsors’ factory was in France. However, further investigation shows that, from the middle of the 18th century, numerous British engineering companies had been set up in France, particularly in Normandy, Paris, and the Loire.


The article can be downloaded here.

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