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Water Tower at Turris Heah, Mill Lane

A Grade II Listed Building in Rainhill, St. Helens

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Latitude: 53.4094 / 53°24'33"N

Longitude: -2.7641 / 2°45'50"W

OS Eastings: 349300

OS Northings: 390563

OS Grid: SJ493905

Mapcode National: GBR 9Y40.CJ

Mapcode Global: WH87B.HKYM

Plus Code: 9C5VC65P+Q8

Entry Name: Water Tower at Turris Heah, Mill Lane

Listing Date: 15 October 2010

Last Amended: 1 September 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1394600

English Heritage Legacy ID: 509209

Location: Rainhill, St. Helens, L35

County: St. Helens

Civil Parish: Rainhill

Built-Up Area: Prescot

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Rainhill St Ann

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

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Water tower, c1870, built by Thomas Melling, red sandstone with ashlar dressings, flat cast-iron roof, 2-storeys with Italianate detailing.


EXTERIOR: Square structure with ashlar quoining and shallow parapet, water tank and top section of tower removed. Main entrance to north-west elevation with wide, round-headed doorway with central keystone and imposts that continue as raised band around the building, timber door. Remaining ground floor elevations with slender, paired round-headed windows with relief ashlar surrounds incorporating keystones and imposts, plain glazing. Taller, tripartite round-headed windows in same style to first floor of each elevation with blind centre lights with a raised head, corbelled sill band to each set of windows.

INTERIOR: The interior is empty with ladder access to first floor and roof.


The water tower at Turris Heah is believed to have been constructed in c1870 after the land on which it is built was purchased by Thomas Melling, owner of an iron foundry and the Rainhill Gas and Water Works. The land was purchased from the Owen family of the Lawton estate who in 1866 granted Melling permission to lay pipes on the estate and to acquire a piece of land for the erection of a high level water tank to supply the local population of the township. The site was chosen as it was the highest point in the area and the stone for the building is believed to have been taken from a small quarry lying immediately adjacent to the north-east side.

The water tower (not annotated) appears on the 1st edition OS map published in 1892 and subsequent maps and its footprint remains unchanged. In 1926 the water tower was sold to Whiston Rural District Council and was sold again on the same day to Liverpool Corporation. It is not known when the tower ceased active use as a water supply.

Reasons for Listing

The water tower at Turris Heah, constructed in c1870 by Thomas Melling, a local entrepreneur, to provide water for the small township of Rainhill, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: It is a good and increasingly rare example of a relatively early, non-municipal water tower with a well-detailed design incorporating clear architectural treatment, including Italianate round-headed windows and door with relief ashlar surrounds
* Historic interest: It has socio-historic interest in representing the development of settlements such as Rainhill from a village to a small township following the arrival of the railway in the mid C19 and the need for a clean public water supply for the increasing population

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