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Sights & Scenes of the British Isles

Photo Focus: Water Towers of the British Isles (Part 1)

by Peter Kessler, 7 October 2023


Knapton Water Tower, Norfolk
Photo © P L Kessler

Knapton Water Tower, Knapton, Norfolk.

It sits on the southern side of the B1145 Knapton Road in Knapton itself, roughly a hundred metres east of the junction with The Street.

The tower was built about 1957 and holds 283,906 litres of water, with the top water level being fifty-nine metres.

Mundesley Water Tower, Norfolk
Photo © P L Kessler

Mundesley Water Tower, Mundesley, Norfolk.

This lies on the western flank of Hill Farm, and the southern side of Links Road, towards the north-western edge of Mundesley.

Construction took place in the mid-twentieth century, although a specific date seems to be unavailable.

Herne Bay Water Tower, Kent
Photo © P L Kessler

Herne Bay Water Tower, Herne Bay, Kent.

The tower overlooks much of Herne Bay from its vantage point at the top of Mickleborough Hill, inside the junction between the hill itself and Dence Park.

This concrete tower reaches to a height of 30.48 metres. It was originally part of the Herne Bay Water Works Company premises here, although it was only built later, between 1937-1961. It is now used only as a base for radio transmitters, having survived a potential threat of demolition in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Weston Water Tower, Hertfordshire
Photo © Peter O'Conner

Weston Water Tower, Weston, Hertfordshire.

Located on the northern side of Mill Lane in the east of the village, approximately midway between the junctions with Fore Street and Maiden Street.

The tower was built between 1937 and 1961.

Southgate Water Tower, Southgate, Gower, Swansea
Photo © Iyers

Southgate Water Tower, Southgate, Gower, Swansea (Abertawe).

The tower is situated on the northern edge of the golf course in Southgate and Pennard, immediately to the south of the commune known as Sandy Lane, and a little under half a kilometre north-east of Pennard Castle in the Gower peninsula.

Built after the 1937-1961 period.

Durdham Down Water Tower, Bristol, Bristol and Avon
Photo © Iyers

Durdham Down Water Tower, Clifton Downs, Bristol, Bristol & Avon.

The tower sits on the northern side of Stoke Road, immediately north-west of the junction with Roman Road in the Clifton Downs area of Bristol.

The tower was constructed in 1954. It comprises a twelve-sided reinforced concrete water tank with an inner and outer compartment which is supported on reinforced concrete fin piers and a reinforced concrete structure.

This structure houses a concrete access staircase and landings. Total storage capacity is 2.73m litres of potable water.

John Stanley (Local Guide) via Google Reviews states that 'Servers and large stop taps line the room as you enter through the heavy steel entrance door, above which large rigid works of concrete hold six skeleton flights of straight stairway up to the penultimate level'.

Up there 'are yet more servers, stop taps, and inspection and maintenance chambers. After this... is a long and winding spiral stair [which is] wrought out of metal [and which] leads eventually to a short ladder, out of a top hatch and then onto the roof.

The view from the top is dizzying, but spectacular'.

Scunthorpe Steel Works Water Tower
Photo © Tarboat

Scunthorpe Steel Works Water Tower

This tower sits next to the Turbo Blower House, within the British Steel works premises in Scunthorpe, to the east of Brigg Road. The tower is located almost parallel with the junction with Grange Lane North.

The iron and steel industry in Scunthorpe was established in the mid-nineteenth century, following the discovery and exploitation of middle Lias ironstone to the east of Scunthorpe.

Scunthorpe Steel Works Water Tower
Photo © Tarboat

Scunthorpe Steel Works Water Tower

This is located next to the container storage area inside the British Steel works which sit on the eastern side of Brigg Road to the east of Scunthorpe. The tower is approximately level with the junction between Brigg Road and Station Road.

Tregarton Park Water Tower
Photo © Tarboat

Tregarton Park Water Tower

The tower is located on the western side of the Gorran High Lanes road northwards, in open fields approximately one hundred metres to the north of the entrance to Tregarton Park in Tregarton, Gorran High Lanes. This is part of a region of narrow lanes and small communities in Cornwall.

Caistor Water Tower
Photo © Tarboat

Caister Water Tower

This sits on the eastern side of the Jack Chase Way Caistor bypass in Caister-on-Sea, with the houses of Royal Thames Road about fifty metres to its west, at the northern end of this eastern Norfolk coastal town.

It was completed in 1932 by the Great Yarmouth Waterworks Company and stands forty-nine metres high. The tower holds over three million litres of water to serve Caister-on-Sea, the nearby local villages, Great Yarmouth and also Gorleston-on-Sea.


Three photos on this page taken by P L Kessler, taken in 2023, with one kindly contributed by Peter O'Conner, two by 'Iyers', and four by 'Tarboat', all via the 'History Files: Water Towers of the British Isles' Flickr group.

Main Sources

British Water Tower Appreciation Society

Google Maps: Water Towers & Tanks

National Library of Scotland: Geo-Referenced Maps

Airads Images News


Images and text copyright © P L Kessler & contributors, except where stated. An original feature for the History Files.