Water Towers In Warwickshire

Water Towers In Warwickshire

This paper lists water towers known to the author in Warwickshire and Coventry.  The towers are listed alphabetically by District.

Recent developments in water supply technology have made the use of water towers less necessary and, as will be seen, many of the towers listed have been removed. A few have been converted to residential use, notably Tile Hill, Tainters Hill and Burton Green. The notes which follow consider the towers as originally built including those which have been demolished.

Sources of information used include ‘Water Towers of Britain’ by Dr. Barry Barton (The Newcomen Society 2003) and ‘Warwickshire Water Supply Division – A Review of the Undertaking’ published by Severn Trent Water Authority, November 1974, together with the author’s personal notes.

The earliest water towers are generally of brick construction with an enclosed tank. Some were built to serve private houses (Coundon Hall and North Waste in Coventry and Idlicote House in Warwick District). The largest brick tower, at Bedworth, was built for public water supply.

Steel tanks were usually supported on steel columns with cross bracing although Budbrooke (now demolished) had a brick base. Several were of a relatively large size (Budbrooke 90,000 gallons, Bearley 80,000 gallons and Harbury, largest of all, 340,000 gallons). A few were originally built to supply wartime R.A.F. airfields (for example Atherstone on Stour, Bearley and Wellesbourne) but were later taken over for public water supply.  Some were of the sectional ‘Braithwaite’ type, the tanks being built up from preformed square steel flanged plates which could be bolted together to give the required capacity.

Most of the larger of the towers are generally of reinforced concrete construction and form the most numerous group. The smaller reinforced concrete towers (Deppers Bridge and Nelsons Cement Works for example) have a square or circular reinforced concrete tank supported by reinforced concrete columns. Two early examples at Nelsons Cement Works 1913 and Arley 1914 were built to the Hennebique system. The tower at Arley was unusual in having crossed bracing to the supporting legs. The larger reinforced concrete towers have large circular concrete tanks supported either by numerous reinforced concrete columns (e.g. Ashlawn, Rugby) or a central ribbed reinforced concrete base (e.g. Tile Hill). Capacities range from 200,000 to 500,000 gallons.

There are some unusual towers. Tainters Hill at Kenilworth was originally a windmill, the tower later being used as a base for a water tank. This tower is now converted for residential use. Burton Green tower near Coventry has undergone a remarkable transformation into holiday accommodation.

In the list which follows are given the names and locations of Warwickshire water towers known to the author to have existed. In each case (including those know to have been demolished) the description given is taken from a contemporary source of information. At the end of each entry the current known, or assumed, condition of the tower (existing, demolished or converted) is given. At the end of the main list is a short list of water towers which have been reported to exist but have not been traced. It is almost certain that all these will have been demolished. In some cases, use has been made of Google Earth satellite photography in an attempt to locate towers and this has been noted in the entry. There is a search box on the right, type a few letters to look for a location.

Water Towers In Warwickshire

Name & Grid ReferenceDetailsStatus
COVENTRY DISTRICT
Coundon Hall
(NGR 3144 8269)
A red brick tower adjoining a private house adjacent to the Old Hall Hotel on Coundon Road in Coventry. Round headed metal windows on ground and first floor. Lower part rendered. Pitched slate roof. Disused. Existing
(See photo gallery)
North Waste
(NGR 2882 7838)
Situated on a road off Tile Hill Lane in Coventry. A crenelated brick tower about 15 to 20 feet high originally immediately behind a public house, (now demolished). Area redeveloped for housing but the tower (Listed Grade 2) is preserved. Possibly late 19th or early 20th century. Existing
(See photo gallery)
NORTH WARWICKSHIRE DISTRICT
Arley
(NGR SP 299 903)
A low reinforced square tank on four reinforced concrete supports with (unusual) cross bracing. Built 1914 to the Hennebique system Photograph and article in ‘Ferro Concrete’ magazine of 1917. Demolished
Atherstone 3M Works Tower
(NGR SP318 982)
Spherical steel tank on lattice steel tower at 3M Works. Date given as 1965.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Corley High Level Water Tower
(NGR SP 2962 8510)
Situated in Church Lane, Corley. 100 yds. from Corley High Level Reservoir. Built 1974. Sectional steel tank on 50 ft steel tower. 6,000 gallons capacity with one compartment. Top water level 650 ft., bottom water level 641.5 ft. Supplied by automatic booster from the High Level reservoir. “Serves a few properties.” Existing
(See photo gallery)
NUNEATON & BEDWORTH DISTRICT
Bedworth
(NGR SP 354 865)
A large square brick and terracotta tower built by the local authority at the end of the 19th century. About 150 ft. high with pitched roof. Tank capacity 60,000 gallons. Large framed panel above the door with the inscription BEDWORTH WATERWORKS 1898. Purchased from Severn Trent Water in 1990 by Parker Lake Homes for conversion into apartments. Existing
(See photo gallery)
Bulkington Water Tower
(NGR SP 38? 87?)
Reported as a reinforced concrete tower dating from 1926. Site not visited. Not located on satellite photograph. Demolished
Tuttle Hill
(NGR 3402 9337)
A reinforced concrete tower built 1938. A solid tower with architectural detailing. 25,000 gallons capacity. Now probably disused.Existing
(See photo gallery)
RUGBY DISTRICT
Ashlawn Water Tower
(NGR SP 507 729)
Sited on Ashlawn Road, Rugby. Built 1934. Circular reinforced concrete tower with two compartments. Drum supported on 12 reinforced concrete columns. Central access shaft. Capacity 500,000 gallons. Top water level 498 ft, bottom water level 482 ft. Level transmitted to Avon Works. Radio mast on top of tower.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Avon Carrow Water Tower
(NGR SP413 507)
A water tower incorporated into Avon Carrow House. Date given as circa 1896. Now converted. Existing
(See photo gallery)
Rugby Stoney (Sidney?) Road Water Tower
(NGR SP 517 737)
In a list consulted this is given as ‘Stoney’ road tower but no such road exists in Rugby. The adjacent road is ‘Sidney’ road. Type not known. Listed as demolished. Area now in use for playing fields. Demolished
Stretton on Dunsmore Water Tower
(NGR 419 732)
Situated on A45 road opposite “The Avenue”, Stretton on Dunsmore. Built about 1967. Sectional steel tank on steel tower, 30 ft to base. Combined inlet/outlet. Capacity 10,000 gallons, one compartment. Top water level 389 ft, bottom water level 382 ft. Reported demolished. Site not visited. Not visible on satellite photograph. Demolished
STRATFORD DISTRICT
Atherstone on Stour Water Tower
(NGR unknown but possibly in region of SP 21 51)
An ex-RAF steel tower sited on main from former Banbury Road booster possibly near the site of a disused airfield. Leasehold. Lease expired 1981. Listed as “Disused”. No other information. Almost certainly demolished. Not visible on satellite photograph. Demolished?
Bearley Water Tower
(NGR unknown but may be near SP 186 604)
Said to be in woods (Bearley Bushes) on S. side of road from Bearley to Snitterfield adjacent to site of RAF Snitterfield. Ex-RAF, built circa 1940. Steel structure supporting a steel tank circa 36 ft square and 12 ft deep, about 50 ft high overall. 80,000 gallons capacity with one compartment. Top water level 421 ft, bottom water level 410 ft. Supplied from Heath End. Commanded the Snitterfield - Wilmcote network. Almost certainly now demolished. Not located on site or on satellite photograph.Demolished?
Deppers Bridge
(NGR SP 3975 5951)
A square reinforced concrete tank on four reinforced concrete legs, braced by four concrete beams. Access ladder. Reported in poor condition (spalling concrete) in 2004. Demolished
(See photo gallery)
Edge Hill Water Tower
(NGR SP 382 483)
Situated at fork of junction of B4086 and road to Ratley at the top of Edge Hill. Circular reinforced concrete tank 49 ft diameter with two compartments supported by a central shaft and 12 columns. 45 ft overall height. Capacity 180,000 gallons. Top water level 751 ft, bottom water level 736 ft. Base of shaft houses chamber with remote level recorder and telephone. Iron fenced enclosure. Supplied from Tysoe booster. Supplies Avon Dassett and Southam parishes of ex-Southam RDC network. Existing
(See photo gallery)
Gaydon
(NGR SP 348 558)
A large steel tank on four steel support legs with bracing. Situated at the Aston Martin works, Gaydon. Not located on site or visible on satellite photograph. Demolished?
Harbury Water Tower
(NGR SP 380 604)
Originally on the east side of the B4452 Harbury to Southam road, 200 yds N. of GWR bridge. Built about 1956/7. Sectional steel tank circa 60 ft square and 16 ft deep. 77 ft overall height. Capacity 340,000 gallons with two compartments. Top water level 460 ft, bottom water level 445 ft. Nine steel lattice columns. Brick and concrete hut 5 ft by 8 ft under tower houses a level recorder with chart and remote indication. Telephone. Corrugated iron tool shed 5 ft by 7 ft. Chain link fenced compound used as a pipe store. Supplied from Campion Hills works. Principal reservoir on the Southam parishes network. Site now in use for industrial units.Demolished
(See photo gallery)
Idlicote House
(NGR SP 2830 4427)
An octagonal masonry tower built in the 18th century. Castellated top with pointed roof. Windows on each of two storeys. A water tower and dovecote. Probably disused.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Lye Green Water Tower
(NGR SP 197 656)
Sited within Lye Green Reservoir enclosure. Built 1965/66. Reinforced concrete drum circa. 35 ft diameter supported by reinforced concrete central ribbed shaft. 70,000 gallons capacity, Top water level 480 ft, bottom water level 466 ft., 60 ft overall height. Single compartment. Duplicate automatic level-controlled boosters in base of shaft to lift water into the drum. Dataphonic remote level indicator. Supplied from Lye Green reservoir. Supplies high ground in Claverdon area. Existing
(See photo gallery)
Nelsons Cement Works
(NGR SP 4406 6480)
A reinforced concrete circular tank on slender reinforced concrete legs. Built 1913 to the Hennebique system. Capacity 20,000 gallons. Reported in ‘Ferro Concrete’ magazine of 1917. Served the now disused cement works. Disused.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Wellesbourne Water Tower
(NGR SP 26? 54?)
Within Wellesbourne booster compound. (Not shown on O.S. map) An ex-RAF installation built circa 1942/3. Steel framed tower supporting steel tank about 20 ft square and 8 ft deep. capacity 20,000 gallons with one compartment. Top water level 241 ft, bottom water level 234 ft. Supplied from Wellesbourne booster. Feeds only a few farms adjoining. Area now developed for housing. Not visible on satellite photograph.Demolished?
WARWICK DISTRICT
Budbrooke Water Tower
(NGR SP2535 6470)
Originally sited alongside the road on E side of Hampton Magna village. Built 1941. Brick sub-structure 38 ft square supporting a sectional steel tank 36’x36’x12’, 90,000 gallons capacity with one compartment. Top water level 334 ft, bottom water level 324 ft. Sub-structure divided into three compartments, one let as a builder’s store, one as a garage and store and one retained for use by Budbrooke depôt. Pumphouse chamber built onto the east face. External access ladder and level indicator (defective). Supplied from Budbrooke borehole. Supplied into Budbrooke and parts of Hampton Magna. Small new surface level building and tank. Demolished
Burton Green Water Tower
(NGR SP268753)
Built about 1933. Sited in the grounds of a private dwelling. Reinforced concrete circular drum on four reinforced concrete columns. One compartment of 20,000 gallons. Top water level 470 ft., bottom water level 460 ft. Erected to serve Burton Green from a booster in nearby Red Lane. Now out of use and converted to a dwelling by the present owner, Mr. Peter Stanworth.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Hampton on the Hill Water Tower
(NGR SP 2518 6441)
Alongside private drive to Grove Park, Hampton on the Hill. Built 1957. Circular reinforced concrete drum 45 ft diameter with domed floor supported on 8 reinforced concrete columns. 52 ft overall height. 200,000 gallons capacity with one compartment. Top water level 350 ft, bottom water level 331 ft. Central access shaft through drum. Brick building houses control valve and access ladder. Remote level indicator, telephone. Supplied from Rowington and Shrewley boreholes. Supplies to west end of Warwick (and to Barford and Bishops Tachbrook if necessary). Converted.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Hatton Asylum Water TowersReported as two towers at Hatton Hospital. Supplied water to Warwick as required. Area now cleared and used for housing. Demolished
Lapworth Water Tower
(NGR 176 710)
Sited near B4439 between Lapworth and Kingswood. Built 1957. Capacity 200,000 gallons. Reinforced concrete drum 45 ft diameter with domed floor and supported on 8 reinforced concrete columns. Concrete wall circa 8 ft high round base of columns. Central access shaft through drum. 77 ft high overall. Central shaft houses mains and access ladder. At the base of shaft is a brick building housing valves, sink, heater and remote level indicator. Telephone. Supplied N. end of former Warwick RDC north and west parishes network. Current status not known. Existing
(See photo gallery)
Little Shrewley Water Tower
(NGR SP223 676)
Public water supply tower reported. Circa 1940. Type unknown. Demolished
Offchurch Water Tower
(NGR SP375655)
Located at Burnt Heath Farm, Offchurch. Part of a private estate network acquired from the landowner. Elevated sectional steel tank 30,000 gallons capacity. Level gauge on outside of tank. Top water level 376 ft, bottom water level 364 ft. Connected to former Warwick RDC eastern parishes network.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Tainters Hill
(NGR SP 2900 7278)
A windmill from 1778 to 1884. Tower converted to a water tower (capacity 26,000 .galls) from 1884 to 1925. Tank replaced in 1925. The tank capacity is uncertain, given as 500,000 gallons in one reference but clearly an incorrect figure. May have been 50,000 galls. Converted to dwelling 1973-4 to present. Converted.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Tile Hill Water Tower
(NGR SP 2715 7635)
Built 1932. A small fenced site of 0.42 acres. Reinforced concrete circular drum on a ribbed reinforced concrete base. One compartment, capacity 300,000 gallons. Top water level 500 ft. AOD, bottom water level 485.2 ft. Served as a balancing talk on the Meriden supply. Now out of use and converted to a dwelling. Converted.Existing
(See photo gallery)
Warwick Town Water TowersThree towers in Warwick reported.
Market Street (NGR SP279 648)
Northgate Street (NGR SP 281 651)
(shown on map dated 1711)
Punchbowl (NGR SP283 652).
All demolished
TOWERS REPORTED TO HAVE EXISTED BUT NOT TRACED
Barby Road, Rugby Said to be a disused masonry tower, location uncertain.N/A
Bockendon Grange, Coventry
(NGR SP 288 738)
Said to be a private water tower but no trace evident at Bockendon Grange.N/A
Long Marston
(NGR SP 167 467)
Said to be on MoD land at Long Marston Depot. Possibly reinforced concrete. Location shown on 2006 OS map but site now developed for housing. Demolished

Roger Cragg – November 2020, updated July 2021

Gallery of Warwickshire Water Towers – Photos © Roger Cragg