„Old“ waterworks

Trade & Craft

„Situations-Plan von der vor Neuhaus belegenen Wasserkunst“, 1805 (LA Münster,
„Situations-Plan von der vor Neuhaus belegenen Wasserkunst“, 1805 (LA Münster, KDK Münster 16/324, fol. 3r, Fotokopie: Privatarchiv G. G. SANTEL, Paderborn)

The older of the two Neuhaus lifting systems was probably built in the course of the expansion of the residence into a representative Renaissance palace. Its builder was probably Prince-Bishop Dietrich v. Fürstenberg, who in the 1590s also had a richly decorated fountain installed in the inner courtyard of his four-winged complex. This first „Neptunbrunnen“ (Neptune fountain) was very probably made by the same master stonemason who also executed the „Aktaionkamin“ (Aktaion chimney), which can still be found today in the south-east corner tower of the palace in the „Marschall-Tafelzimmer“ (Marshal’s table room).[1] In order to be able to fill the upper sandstone bowl of the „Neptunbrunnen“ with water against the force of gravity, it required not only a mechanical hoist but also a stable pressurised water pipe.[2] Both components of a waterworks can be grasped from archival records as early as the end of the 16th century.[3]

In the princely official account of 1596/97, the scribe mentions expenditures for the production of several individual components that were put together to form the first Neuhaus „waßerKunst“ (waterworks):[4]

In addition to a new „[1.] ‚Rath‘ (wheel), on which the [2.]jugs hang“ are mentioned [3.] „‘Rennen‘ (conduit), in which the water wheel goes“, a newly made [4.] „Stolwerck“ [studworks], on which the [5.] „‘kettel‘ (kettle) [in the sense of elevated tank] stands“. Production costs were also incurred for the carpentry of a [6.] „staircase, on which one ascends“ and for a new beam, which was placed by carpenters under the [7.] „bleyroren“ (lead pipes).

Neuhaus, Alte Wasserkunst, extract from the building account of 1596
Neuhaus, Alte Wasserkunst, extract from the building account of 1596 (LA Münster, Fbtm Paderborn, Ämterrechnungen Neuhaus, No. 1046, fol. 92v-93r).

If we combine these seven items of account, we get the picture of a typical „scoop wheel system“ of the late Middle Ages. Earthen or wooden scooping vessels („jugs“) were probably attached to the outer rims of a water wheel, which filled with water due to the wheel’s own rotation in the stream. When they reached the apex of the rotation, the jugs emptied into a high tank („kettel“) under their own weight. The pressure pipe („bleyroren“), which was laid underground towards the street, probably started from the wall of this collecting tank. In the inner courtyard of the castle, the end of the pipe rose in the sandstone column of the „Neptunbrunnen“. The outflow first fed the upper well bowl, whose overflow then filled the lower main basin.

The first ladle was built by a „M.[aster] Michaell“, who was a „Sagenschneider“ in Altenbeken.[5] His commissioning was probably no coincidence, as the upper Beketal was known for its mining industry in the bishopric of Paderborn.[6] In addition to classic water mills, technically sophisticated ironworks and hammer mills were also concentrated here, whose bellows and punching machines were driven by water power. It was probably his expertise as a millwright and wood technician that made Master Michael come to Neuhaus.[7] The sawmiller himself worked a total of 9 days in the summer of 1596, his two sons 18 days each at the lifting systems of the old castle waterworks. Parts of the cut building material, „10 oak and beech trees“, were delivered by the master from Altenbeken at a cost of 2 ½ Taler.[8] Specialists also had to be commissioned to supervise the high-maintenance mechanics and the piping system. Under Prince-Bishop Ferdinand von Fürstenberg (officiating 1661-83), the city water master from Paderborn was engaged for this purpose in the 1660s and 1670s.[9] In the early 18th century, Conrad Schlaun draws an exterior view of the old waterworks building en passent in his „Neuhäuser Prospekt“ (1719): Behind the massive three-arched „Nepomukbrücke“, the draughtsman places two gable fronts of houses, under whose protective gable roofs the lifting system can be assumed.

This renaissance waterworks remained in operation even after the new Baroque „Neue Wasserkunst“ (New Waterworks) was built (from 1752 on). A repair and maintenance account submitted by the court architect Franz Christoph Nagel (*1699 +1764) to the Court Chamber in 1758 records the maintenance work carried out on both installations during the year: In May, a day labourer „nailed“ „new leather to the old waterworks“.[10] Greased leather was already used in the 16th century to seal piston heads in pump cylinders. It can therefore be assumed that the old scooping device from the 16th century has since been replaced by more efficient piston pumps. This would also suggest Nagel’s original concept of having a water tower built as a „point de vue“ in the newly laid-out palace garden (1726-1736).[11] Several of the lower-lying water features and the large fountain in the centre of the garden were to be supplied with padder water from its elevated tank – a large-scale hydraulic project that was, however, never realised.[12] The Old Waterworks would therefore probably have been initially intended to fill the baroque water tower. The account provides further evidence of the technical modernisation: In June 1758, the day labourers Henrich Ebbeke and Heinrich Dietrich Gercken once raised the shaft in the „old [waterworks]“[13]. The installation of a waterwheel shaft also points to the changeover from the old scooping operation to the contemporary pumping operation.

Neuhaus, water tower designed by court architect F. C. Nagel as „point de vue“ in the palace garden newly laid out in 1726-36 (Residenzmuseum Schloss Neuhaus, photo M. Ströhmer)
Neuhaus, water tower designed by court architect F. C. Nagel as „point de vue“ in the palace garden newly laid out in 1726-36 (Residenzmuseum Schloss Neuhaus, photo M. Ströhmer)

In addition to the lifting and piping technology, the extensive water structures also had to be maintained. In October 1758, the usual „cutting and throwing out“ of the Wasserkunstpader fell due, whereby the „old waterworks had to be plugged“.[14] In November, the cleaning work on the mill ditch was continued. Two day labourers cut the grass „out of the Kleine Pader from St. Joannis Nepomuceni bridge to the new Lippe bridge“.[15] As the impending winter threatened with ground frost, the above-ground pipes of both waterworks were insulated to prevent pipe bursts. To this end, between 30 October and 12 November 1758, day labourers covered „the lead pipes under the castle bridges and the conjunction pipes [in the castle garden] with dung“[16] – a procedure quite common in the early modern period.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the old waterworks building was still standing. With the sale of the property to Baron Alexander von der Lippe (1805), the nobleman was granted the right by the Münster War and Domain Chamber to demolish the „waterworks building“, valued at 20 Taler, 13 Groschen and 8 Pfennig, if necessary.[17] The purchase of the property also included the „missing wooden water pipes located underground, insofar as these are located under the former Paul House site and under the common driveway square“. A „Situations-Plan von der vor Neuhaus belegenen WaßerKunst“ (site plan of the waterworks located in front of Neuhaus) [18], which probably belongs to the contract, thus confirms that the meanwhile disused water pipe ran from the lift over the „Pauly=Hausstette“ (Paul House site) in a north-westerly direction towards the then main street (Schloßstraße). It was then probably routed over the southern castle bridge across the moat into the inner courtyard of the residence.

Probably before the former waterworks site was sold on to Adolph Scherpel, the „Kleine Kunst“ (small waterworks) building was demolished before 1836.[19] What remained of the lifting System was a ditch about 1.20 metres wide and 0.60 metres deep. This partially filled-in channel was cut through on a trial basis in 1849 by the Paderborn mill owner Sander, Scherpel’s partner at the time. With this uncovering, Sander wanted to prove that a new wheat mill would not affect the water consumption of the other millers. It quickly became apparent, however, that although there was sufficient water flowing to the mill wheels, at the same time the water level in the „Ringgraben“ dropped dramatically. This „canal for the procurement of industrial water /: and soon also the ditches of the castle, which are fed by the canal“[20] even fell dry at times. Because of the water shortage that had occurred, the Neuhaus barracks management now feared a possible health hazard for their soldiers and horses. For example, it was no longer possible to adequately rinse the privies on the barracks grounds.[21] From the point of view of medical history, the odours that set in were also still feared in the mid-19th century as „miasmas“ that were capable of triggering epidemic diseases. At the same time, there were fears for the castle’s structural fabric, whose foundations were based on a wooden pile grate. If oxygen reached the supporting posts as a result of the lowering of the water level in the castle moat, the dried-out wood lost its consistency and stability. Thus, the artificial water channeling of the Pader created in the 16th century continued to have an effect well into the 19th century.

[1] Cf. Börste, Norbert/ Santel, Gregor G.: Schloss Neuhaus bei Paderborn, Berlin 2015, p. 38f.

[2] A contemporary illustration of the double-shelled fountain with figure can be found a. o. in the „Monumenta Paderbornensia“ of Prince-Bishop Ferdinand von Fürstenberg (1669/72).

[3] Thus, the recent assumption in the literature (2015) that the „old waterworks on the Wasserkunstpader“ were responsible for the „operation of the fountain“ in the baroque palace garden must be critically questioned. Cf. Börste/Santel, Schloss Neuhaus, p. 79. There is also no concrete evidence for a later construction of „waterwork[s]“ under Prince-Bishop Dietrich Adolf von der Recke (officiating 1650-1661) after the Thirty Years’ War. Cf. Wurm, Neuhaus, p. 41.

[4] LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Ämterrechnungen Neuhaus (1596/97), Nr. 1046, fol. 92v-93r.

[5] LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Ämterrechnungen Neuhaus (1596/97), Nr. 1046, fol. 92v.

[6] Cf. Neuheuser, Heinrich: Geschichte der Gemeinde Altenbeken, Paderborn 1960 (ND 1989), p. 20-24.

[7] The Altenbeken sawmill probably stood in the lower village. In an ecclesiastical visitation report of 1655, a „Sagemüller“ is located there. Cf. Neuheuser, Altenbeken, p. 149.

[8] Periodic transports of wood to Neuhaus were part of the princely „Spanndienste“ (service using draught animals) for numerous farmsteads in the village of Altenbeken. The obliged peasants not only had to transport the timber with their own horse-drawn carts, they also had to cut the wood themselves in the Egge mountains. Cf. Henning, Bauernwirtschaft, p. 125f.

[9] For this subsidiary office he was paid 2 Reichstaler annually by the Rentmeister. Cf. Ämterrechnungen Neuhaus (1663/64) and (1672/73), no. 1072 and 1081, LA Münster, fol. 129v; 146v.

[10] Partial account, 5 May 1758. LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Hofkammer Nr. 3054, fol. 31r.

[11] Cf. Börste/ Santel, Schloss Neuhaus, p. 75.

[12] Cf. Hansmann, Wolfgang: Der Neuhäuser Schlossgarten (1585-1994) (Studien und Quellen zur Geschichte von Stadt und Schloß Neuhaus, Vol. 2), Schloss Neuhaus 2009, p. 115-160, here pp. 131.

[13] Partial account, 19 June 1758. LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Hofkammer Nr. 3054, fol. 29r.

[14] Partial account, 23 October 1758. LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Hofkammer Nr. 3054, fol. 24r.

[15] Partial account, 20 November 1758. LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Hofkammer Nr. 3054, fol. 23r.

[16] Partial account, 20 November 1758. LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Hofkammer Nr. 3054, fol. 23r.

[17] Copy of the contract of sale, Neuhaus 28 October 1805. LA Detmold, M 1 I U, Nr. 660, unfol.

[18] Cf. LA Münster, Kriegs- und Domänenkammer Münster 16/324.

[19] In 1851, the Old Waterworks building was probably no longer standing. A Prussian surveyor describes the property „on which a waterworks building had been erected and put into operation in the past“ as undeveloped. Cf. assessment by the Prussian building inspector N.N., 15 June 1851, LA Detmold, M 1 I U, No. 660, unfol. On the Prussian „Chaussée“ map of the „Bauconducteur Leopold“ of May/June 1836, the building of the Old Waterworks is no longer marked. Cf. StadtA Pb, M 5-11 No. 95.

[20] Cf. Report of the „Landrätlicher Kommissar“ zur Mühlen to the district government Minden, 10 September 1849. LA Detmold, M 1 I U, No. 660, unfol.

[21] Cf. technical report by the Prussian building inspector N.N., 15 June 1851. LA Detmold, M 1 I U, No. 660, unfol. According to the expert, the „kleine Ringgraben“ (small ring ditch) divides „into the right arm the castle moat /: called the Graft:/ from where the water flows into the Lippe; in the left arm, however, cleans the privies of the barracks and from there also flows into the Lippe above the mouth of the Alme.“

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