This web site is one of a number of databases created by the Spas Research Fellowship
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Water Towers have been key elements in the developed landscapes of communities. They provide a gravity powered water supply to localities both residential and industrial. Local water companies built them on their highest points and pumped water up from sources at lower levels. The water was then distributed by piped infrastructure to those the company served.

The golden age of water towers is seen as 1860-1930. Today many towers have become redundant due to their locations not being sufficiently high enough to service the consumers, as the demand for water expands. Also modern pumping has enabled water pressure to be maintained without such towers.

As a result these once iconic structures, that epitomised the important role of the water company to the community, have been destroyed or converted to other uses. Their architecture proudly reflected their role and this has led to a challenge to find alternative uses for such towers. On this database we record a few examples that have survived in Great Britain. The information that we give on each tower is to the best of our knowledge, but should be verified if used for formal purposes.

In the database each tower has a unique identity code shown in brackets. The first number indicates the map on which Barton lists the tower, the letter(s) identify the county(s) and the last number or letter identifies the tower's position on Barton's list. Source: Barton B. (2003) Water Towers of Britain. Newcomen Soc.

Email: towers@thespas.co.uk (click here to send an email)

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Click website above to return to the Research Fellowship pages.
Click the county logos to explore by county; and lower down, click the small pictures to see larger illustrations.
This site is still under construction.

Areas covered by county web pages - click the logos below to view the county listings now available.

1 Devon (DV) and Cornwall (CW)

2 Somerset (SS) and Dorset (DO)

3 Avon (AV) and Wiltshire (WT)

4 Hampshire (including Isle of Wight) (HS)

5 Greater London (GL), Surrey (SY) and West Sussex (WS)

6 Kent (KT) and East Sussex (ES)

7 Oxfordshire (OX) and Berkshire (BK)

8 Buckinghamshire (BU) and Bedfordshire (BE)

9 Hertfordshire (HT)

10 Essex (EX)

11 Cambridgeshire
12 Suffolk (SF)

13 Norfolk (NF)

14 Hereford & Worcester (HW) and Gloucestershire (GL)

15 Warwickshire (WS) and Northamptonshire

16 Shropshire (SH), Staffordshire and West Midlands

17 Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire
18 Lincolnshire (LS)

19 Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire (CH)
20 South Yorkshire and Humberside (HS)

21 North Yorkshire (NY) and West Yorkshire (WY)
22 Cumbria and Lancashire
23 Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Co Durham and Cleveland
24 Wales (with South Wales as inset)
25 Scotland (with Glasgow Area as inset)

Towers not yet included in county lists are below

This North Yorkshire tower lies on the northern perimeter of the village of Hemingbrough. Grid. Ref. 673314.

WATER TOWER near Hull Prison, (00HS00)
Like the one before, little is known about this tower. It can be viewed from the main road opposite the main entrance to Hull Prison and may be associated with this institution. We would welcome further information.

Chester Castle Ramparts, Cheshire. This is a water tower with a difference. It has not got a tank and never had! Dating from 1322, it was so named because it used to abut the local River Dee. See the picture by clicking right for more details. It is Grade 1 listed.

Located at Knottingley in West Yorkshire, this tower appears to have disappeared over time. If you know more, do contact us so that we can update the data.

Located in Wales, approximately 7 miles West from Newtown. This tower is thought to have once stood in the grounds of Plas Maldwyn, a Victorian Workhouse. It lies just to the north of the village of Caersws, in Montgomery District. The workhouse was constructed 1837-1840, as designed by Thomas Penson. In 2023, the buildings were still being converted to residential with no sign of the water tower.

West York. The tower dates back to about 1300 when it was build as part of the defence of York city. It is located on the River Ouse at this major road bridge. As early as 1677 it was leased for 500 years to the York water works and provided a valuable service to the local community as a result. It has subsequently been used as an office, storeroom and now residential accommodation.

Mostyn House School, Parkgae, Neston, Wirral, Cheshire. Parkgate is a village on the Wirral Peninsula on the banks of the River Dee, adjoining 100 square kilometres of salt marsh. At the 2011 Census, it had a population of 3,591.The imposing black & white frontage of the former Mostyn House School, built in 1895, still dominates the seafront. The original 18th century building, at its core, was formerly known as the Mostyn Arms. Thomas Brassey (1805-70), the famous civil engineer and railway contractor, was the owner of the freehold of these premises from 1849 until his death in 1870. The Grenfell family then purchased the freehold, and the premises were enlarged progressively by generations of the family allowing them to expand the school considerably over the next century.

2 Cop Lane, PR1 0SR. Originally built in 1890, this tower lies near Preston in Lancashire. It was built by Canon L Rawstorne but supplied water to the local village for only a few years. It was subsequently converted to residential and underwent major restoration in 2019/20. It lies adjacent to a road junction and car park.

Now discover MALVERN Water in MALVERN Water Towers by clicking below.

The above book, published in 2003, is a valuable source of information on water towers and has been a historic guide in research for this web site. Click the image to find out more about water towers.

See above:- If you have details of a Water Tower that is not yet added to our web site please let us know, especially if you have a picture that we could use. Contact: towers@thespas.co.uk



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