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Water Tower to Former Lambeth Workhouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Lambeth, London

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Latitude: 51.4926 / 51°29'33"N

Longitude: -0.1047 / 0°6'16"W

OS Eastings: 531673

OS Northings: 178779

OS Grid: TQ316787

Mapcode National: GBR NM.M3

Mapcode Global: VHGR0.4RH3

Entry Name: Water Tower to Former Lambeth Workhouse

Listing Date: 4 September 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392739

English Heritage Legacy ID: 505263

Location: Lambeth, London, SE11

County: London

District: Lambeth

Electoral Ward/Division: Prince's

Built-Up Area: Lambeth

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: North Lambeth

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Listing Text

963/0/10180 RENFREW ROAD
04-SEP-08 Water Tower to former Lambeth Workhouse

Water tower. Built 1877 to the design of Fowler and Hill, as part of Lambeth Workhouse and Infirmary, latterly Lambeth Hospital.

MATERIALS: Yellow stock brick with red brick dressings and banding; Portland stone dressings; clay tile roof.

EXTERIOR: Monumental structure in a striking Venetian Gothic style. Rectangular on plan. 3 stages of equal height and tall fourth stage with corbelled cornice, plain top stage. Diagonal buttressess with pointed stone heads. Lower 4 stages have narrow rectangular openings with stone lintels and cills, framed in giant arcades (triple on the N and S sides; double on the E and W) with moulded stone imposts continuing around buttress heads, pointed gauged-brick heads and oculi, and brick drip-moulds. Similar openings to otherwise plain top storey. The large iron water tank is covered by a hipped tiled roof with a gablet.

HISTORY: The provision of separate workhouse infirmaries was a key requirement of the Metropolitan Poor Act (1867) following the outcry at workhouse conditions in the mid 1860s, which prompted the rebuilding of several London workhouses, and a proliferation of new workhouse infirmaries. Lambeth Workhouse was rebuilt 1871-3 in Renfrew Road to the design of R Parris and TW Aldwinckle, housing 820 inmates. The new pavilion-plan infirmary was built on the adjacent site to the north west of the workhouse, and completed in 1877. Casual wards were added in 1877 at the south of the infirmary, and a water tower at the north-east of the former workhouse administration block. The water tower served both workhouse and infirmary. The remainder of the infirmary buildings, and most of the workhouse blocks, have been demolished.

Metropolitan workhouse infirmaries of this period were often architecturally very plain compared to other hospitals, but this water tower is imposing by most standards, probably a deliberate response to the particularly ornate Venetian Gothic style of the former workhouse administrative block.

SOURCES: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME), unpublished report on Lambeth Workhouse NMR 101038 (1996)
RCHME, English Hospitals 1660-1948 (1998)

REASON FOR DESIGNATION: The water tower of the former Lambeth Workhouse and Infirmary is designated for the following principal reasons:
* of special architectural interest as an imposing and distinctive water tower in the Venetian Gothic style, constituting a rare feature in inner London;
* historic associations with Lambeth Workhouse and Infirmary;
* group value with the former workhouse administrative block, whose style it complements, and with the nearby former courthouse and fire station in Renfrew Road (qv); a good ensemble of Victorian public buildings.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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