Ashford Inventor of Hand Held Waterpump Honoured At Launch of Harrison Court

Quinn Estates has returned to its roots in Charing, Kent with the launch of Harrison Court, a stunning development that has transformed a former pumphouse into eight one, two and three bed apartments and a luxury penthouse suite.

The name of the development honours Henry Harrison, the Ashford born inventor of the hand water pump, ending a 10-year campaign by his family to find a permanent way to recognise the achievement of their illustrious ancestor.

Eight of Henry Harrison’s descendants attended a launch event at the site on Wednesday (6 March) with Cllr Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council and ward member for Charing, unveiling a special plaque launching the scheme, with the inscription:

‘Harrison Court, named in memory of Henry Harrison 1811 – 1866, inventor of the hand water pump.’

Michael Hill, from Ashford and Henry’s great-great-great grandson spoke of his delight that Quinn Estates had agreed to have their latest development named after the pioneering Victorian. He paid tribute to those who had helped make it happen.

“All my life I had heard stories about him and thought it only right that he be honoured with a plaque. When Cllr Jenny Webb told us she might have found the perfect place, we were hopeful that finally we’d be able to get a lasting tribute to him.

“The launch event of Harrison Court was a very special one for us. We’d always thought everyone else is being honoured, why not him, and had almost given up hope. This building, given its history and former use, is the perfect legacy and will ensure Henry’s achievements are never forgotten.”

The site of Harrison Court also holds special significance for Quinn Estates CEO and Chairman, Mark Quinn. In 1997, he made his first foray into property development, buying the pumphouse site and converting it into a health club business, which he sold in 2000.

“I was just 23 when I bought what was then this empty old water pumping station. It’s a site that has always been lucky for me and I’m incredibly proud to be able to share its next chapter with the Harrison family,” he said.

“When we were approached, we thought it was a brilliant idea to celebrate the inventor of something that made such a difference to the world. We’re a company that believes in leaving a positive legacy in the communities we build and are honoured that we have been able to support the family in this way.”

Cllr Clarkson, added: “The quality of the building is a great credit to Quinn Estates. I’m a great believer in promoting Ashford’s history, so the fit between the pumping station and the Harrison family is perfect.

“Henry Harrison was someone who enshrines the pioneering, forward looking spirit of Ashford that continues to this day. This is a lovely way to continue that heritage.”