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Report - Central Hydraulic Tower, Birkenhead - August '11

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by tweek, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. tweek

    tweek Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
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    Central Hydraulic Tower, Birkenhead - August '11

    Visited with ex0, Kromax and fishbrain.

    Plaudits for this one go to ex0 for tower access and his wealth of knowledge on the place - which, incidentally, we didn't ask him for :p

    History

    The Tower was built in 1868 by the then Dock Engineer Jesse Hartley providing power for the movement of lock gates and bridges at Birkenhead Docks. The tower once bore a striking resemblance to Siena's Gothic Town Hall - Torre del Mangia.... although I doubt they do the Palio round here as you'd most likely have many a drowning horse swallowed by the fast-flowing Mersey :eek:

    Also known as an accumulator tower it predated electric power. Now a Grade II listed building it is in a sorry state having long since lost its clock and superstructure.

    Hartley (born in Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1780) was appointed Dock Engineer in 1824 and it was he who established a tradition of fine building in the Liverpool docks with thorough consideration of every detail.

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    The building sustained considerable damage from bombing during the Second World War and was never fully restored to the architectural style initially set out.

    Ambitious (part demo / refurb / extension) planning applications (March 2008) by owners Peel holdings are likely to take a long time to formalise, but according to the company, "the Hydraulic Tower is considered as the key anchor to the north of this quarter" and plans have been submitted to build a 105 square metre glazed extension to the Tower to provide waterside dining and add an outside terrace and a hotel adjacent to the south of the tower.

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    Thanks for viewing,
    Tweek
     
    #1 tweek, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

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