Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Worthing Water Tower

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Demolished 1924

The water-tower at Worthing, oonstructed under the direction of Mr. Rawlinson, C.E., is 40 feet square on plan, with a central pier of brick, and spiral stairs of cast-iron. The foundation is of concrete; the main structure of bricks, made on the ground : white and red brick from other places have been used in the piers and arches ; where stone is used it is Bramley Fall, Caen, or York. The watertank is of cast-iron, 40 feet square, and 13 feet deep, and will contain about 110,000 gallons of water. It has been made and put up by the Messrs. Cliff, of Bradford. The strongest plates are 1/2-inch, and the thinnest 3/8-inch thick. The staircase is carried through the centre of the tank, and tie-rods radiate from the stairs' well to the sides.
The engine is high-pressure, by Messrs. Headly and Manning, of Cambridge, and pumps sewage as also pure water. Tho sewage-pumps are at a little distance outside the engine-house. The pure-water well is inside the house, at the foot of the tower, and is sunk in chalk. The bottom of the tank is about 70 feet above the ground, and the tower and roof are about 110 feet in height in the whole. Tank and water, when the tank is full, are upwards of 500 tons in weight. The whole tower is upwards of 4,000 tons on the foundation. There is not the slightest crack or settlement about the work, and the tank is quite water-tight. The engine commenced work at the end of last year. The public sewers will be completed in about a month's time. At present, upwards of 400 houses have been drained, and have had the new water laid on. The men are proceeding with the private works as rapidly as possible. Before summer, the whole of the houses and streets on the sea front will be sewered, drained, and have new water ; and the shore will be perfectly freed from sewage. Messrs. Frend and Hamill are completing the public sewers. Mr. Charles Hide, architect, has superintended the whole of the works, and is now completing the house drainage.— Builder.' [1]

The tower was capable of holding 200,000 gallons of water for the town. In 1893 an outbreak of typhoid fever occurred, during which 188 people died. In 1898 a pumping station was opened on the Downs at Hillbarn Lane and the water tower became redundant. It was demolished in 1924.[2]

Interesting account of the typhoid epidemic here.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. West Sussex Gazette, 7 May 1857
  2. [1] Worthing Heritage Trails, created by the Worthing Heritage Alliance