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Latitude: 50.3733 / 50°22'23"N
Longitude: -4.1563 / 4°9'22"W
OS Eastings: 246761
OS Northings: 54819
OS Grid: SX467548
Mapcode National: GBR R81.04
Mapcode Global: FRA 2851.YBX
Plus Code: 9C2Q9RFV+8F
Entry Name: Former Royal Naval Hospital Water Tower
Listing Date: 1 May 1975
Last Amended: 9 November 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1113325
English Heritage Legacy ID: 473522
Location: Plymouth, PL1
Electoral Ward/Division: St Peter and the Waterfront
Built-Up Area: Plymouth
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Plymouth St Peter and the Holy Apostles
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
740-1/56/822 (North side)
Former Royal Naval Hospital
01/05/1975 (Formerly listed as:
HIGH STREET, Stonehouse, Royal
Naval Hospital: Water-Tower)
Water tower. 1758-80. Plymouth limestone rubble with limestone quoins and other dressings. Octagonal plan. Moulded cornice under low-pitched roof with central octagonal turret leaded dome and ball finial. 3 storey elevations with blocked oculi to upper floors. Blocked round-arched doorway; another doorway lower down to left-hand return; ledged door.
INTERIOR: retains wooden frame for the water tanks.
HISTORY: probably originally with a lead cistern fed by chain pump, which pressurised a supply to water closets and throughout the wards. By 1800 an 'engine house' pumped to the reservoir. As such this is an early instance of a water-borne system of sanitation. and one which remains remarkably complete.
A significant part of the hospital plan, and of an outstanding and uniquely complete military hospital complex. The earliest known example of a water tower in Britain is the Water House of c1732 at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, the Plymouth example being an unusually early precursor of the water towers that appeared in increasing numbers for communal water supply of towns, hospitals etc from the mid C19. Previous to this date, there existed gravity-fed cisterns for communal water supply, such as the Lavatory Tower at Canterbury Cathedral, and there are two other examples of mid C17 date (at Abington Park, Northampton, and Dame Mary Bolle's Water Tower, Heath Common, West Yorkshire) which have retained evidence of water-powered pumping systems.
Morrison K: Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse: Cambridge: 1992: 100373).
Listing NGR: SX4676154819
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