The Slaugham Archives

Balcombe Water Tower
The Slaugham Archive
Balcombe Water Tower

The Balcombe Water Tower is a Grade II listed building and has been a landmark since the end of the 19th century. Being located in the Slaugham parish and slightly closer to Handcross than Balcombe I am not sure why it is not called the Handcross Water Tower.
The picture shows the completed tower on the left with, on the right, the more-interesting view of the tower surrounded by a considerable amount of scaffolding. I can spot nine workers on the very top, one man standing on a scaffolding bar about fifteen feet lower, and another sitting on the lowest piece of scaffolding just above the fencing.
Outside the completed tower is a gentleman with a horse and carriage, could he be the building inspector from the Council?
Over the years the tower has become quite obscured by trees and shrubs, which is a shame as it is worth admiring the achievements of the Victorian builders. It is a listed building, and I feel that the public should be entitled to have a good view of it; perhaps similar to the view in the picture.
Click on Large Version to see the workmen on the top.

View Large Version View Large Version
Picture added on 09 March 2013 at 12:28
This picture is in the following groups
Roads - Handcross - Balcombe Lane and London Road
Comments:
I had the privilege of climbing the iron rung ladder from the ground floor up to and out onto the roof after the theft of lead.
At that time British Caledonian Airways had communication equipment housed on one of the interior platforms with associated aerial on the turrets.
Ex-PC AP343 Pearce.
Added by David Pearce on 14 March 2013
This water tower is one of the finest ever built when mains water was being connected to large areas. How fortunate to have this beautiful structure to raise a cast-iron sectioned, utility, reservoir 24 metres above the ground?
The architect is to commended for designing the slender tower with such balanced features of the castellation, banding and panelling in brickwork and stone. The proportioned windows with rare, rubbed brick, semi-gothic arches, means that none of the expense was wasted and was a credit to the builders. This at a time when materials would have been transported by horses, with perhaps a steam engine to bring the cast-iron tank sections from Balcombe station. The larch pole scaffolding was lashed together with 5 metre lengths of rope or wire cable "bonds".
The add-on tower seems to have no ladder or hoisting cage; so just the gin-wheel and rope then!
Added by Arthur Shopland on 15 March 2013
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Handcross

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