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

Lincolnshire. Built in 1897, this hexagonal tower is now Grade II listed. It is located on the embankment edge of a reservoir at the top of Hickman Hill DN21. Grid. Ref. SK820900.

Lincolnshire. This tower is located a short distance north of Lincoln, just west of the A15 near Ingham. It is a landmark erection that may not even be a water tower in spite of being managed by anglianwater. We would welcome any information about it.

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.

Location: Feock near Truro, Cornwall. This building was once used as a reservoir in the 1860s. Now it is available for holiday lets with a difference, having been converted to residential accommodation. It is four storeys high with only one room on each floor, thus a stay at Trelissick Water Tower will be like no other. Youíll enter through arched barn doors and climb its winding staircase to circular-shaped rooms with gothic-style windows. Located on the Trelissick estate, itís a fine example of the Victorian embellishment of utilitarian buildings. At the top of the tower was a bell, rung at the beginning and end of the working day for the estate workers. The property is now owned by the National Trust and is available to rent through their website.

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.

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

The above book is a valuable source of information on water towers and has been a historic guide in research for this web site. Click the picture for further details.

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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