Facelift planned for Penwortham’s iconic water tower

The Water Tower, Penwortham
The Water Tower, Penwortham
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One of Lancashire’s oddest houses is set for a grand facelift to bring it into the 21st century.

Owners of the iconic Water Tower, which has stood majestically in the centre of Penwortham for more than 130 years, have revealed plans to refurbish the building. But a heritage statement submitted to South Ribble Council gives an assurance the Victorian landmark, built in the 1880s to upgrade Penwortham’s water supply, will remain visually unchanged after the improvement works are carried out.

The six-floor tower is to be refurbished “to return the property to a very good state of repair and a comfortable place to live in.” Ironically water damage is responsible for many of the defects, both inside and out.

A report says external brickwork is in need of repair and the roof is leaking, causing “considerable” damage to internal plaster. Previous repairs and improvements, says the report, were either poor or inappropiate.

The plans include a full re-wire, an extension to the heating system, new plasterwork, new staircases, a new entrance porch, a replacement conservatory and the creation of an extra car parking space.

The owners are said to have “a great ambition to return the building back to being an outstanding landmark in Penwortham.”

The tower, described as “probably one of the most notable and noticeable features of the town,” was built by Canon Lawrence Rawstorne to provide fresh water for a group of cottages nearby. Soon after it was built, piped water arrived from Preston.