Central Hydraulic Tower - Birkenhead - June/July '11
The title for this report is slightly misleading as the tower itself is inaccessable to me at the moment. Pics of the tower itself will hopefully follow in the near future!
After walking/driving past this thing since I was young I decided one fine afternoon that I was doing this site to test out my new camera. The pictures were taken over 3 visits including one abortive attempt and one trip at night.
All 3 visits I did solo largely due to the fairly troublesome access.
After accessing the site I was stuck quite high up on a ledge. The drop was about 12 feet down and there wasn't an obvious way of getting back up, with that said the access was an absolute bastard and I hadn't come this far to leave without exploring the place.
I dropped down with the idea of finding a safer way back up, leaving my gear on the ledge. /facepalm. After about 10 minutes I found a (gnarly) way of getting my stuff down and got to taking pics History-
Jesse Hartley, who was responsible for many of Liverpool's maritime structures - including the Albert Dock, designed the Central Hydraulic Tower and Engine House. Providing power for the movement of lock gates and bridges at Birkenhead Docks, it was completed in 1863.
The design of the building was based on the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza Della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
The building sustained considerable damage from bombing during the Second World War and was repaired in a functional, rather than architectural style. The large lantern at the top of the tower was not replaced.
In March 2008, a planning application was submitted for a £12 million restoration and redevelopment of the building by Peel Holdings to be converted into a bar and restaurant. A ninety-two bed hotel complex is planned to be constructed immediately adjacent to it.
The Hydraulic Tower & Engine House. As noted in the history you can clearly see the difference between the brickwork on the left of the building where the structure was repaired.
The view from the above mentioned ledge.
To my left (not pictured) is where the stairs used to be that lead up to the second floor. They've been removed and the ceiling plastered over.
Looking up through the roof at the tower.
The next few pics are from the night visit, this was not possible during the day due to heavy traffic and the 6-7M freeclimb required to get onto the first of 2 roofs.
Looking towards Birkenhead.
Looking back towards Wallasey (That's the tower bridge pictured.)
Looking along the dock towards Bidston. The two pictured buildings on the right are grain warehouses converted into luxury flats.
Looking up at the tower, that little jutting out bit on the bottom right is the entrance to the tower itself but it's only accessable from the second roof. More pics of that to follow if I can find a way up!