Friday, 13 July 2012

Ormskirk Hospital water tower

So, I visited the tower I have in mind for my Honours project, last weekend. The building is really interesting and has lots of character. Here are some pictures i managed to take;

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On the beautiful painted roof it reads
'Swift and House Wigan' 'Swift brothers 
Union Foundry Pemberton'

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These black structures on the outside of the building

holds metal poles which cross through the

middle of the building for support. You can see them

on pictures below of the interior.

Here you can see the nearby flats which
have a similar style and shape to
the water tower

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Amazing views from the tower

The above is the top floor which would have been used as the water tank, hence the rustiness!
These heavy metal cylindrical objects remain in the centre of the room, the owners are currently looking for a way of either moving them or incorporating them into the design. There are no windows on this floor but as there are currently plans to turn the building into two apartments, velux windows would be put onto the roof of this building.

The swift brothers were engineers and ironfounders. When looking into who they where i found this image

Swift and House, Union Foundry, c1920.

This is a picture of  the old Ormskirk Union workhouse which the tower overlooks, It was this workhouse that was supplied by the water tower and was built in 1851-3. Whoever was in charge would be situated at the top of the workhouse so that they could look out of the window to check on all their workers. The workhouse was designed by local architect William Culshaw who also drew up the plans for several other workhouses and buildings in the area.

Here are some wonderful pictures taken at the workhouse around 1900

childrens' ward

mens' ward

 Miss Amy Masters, superintendent of women's ward, c.1900.

They give a feel of the type of people who would have been around at the time and who would have been using the water tower.


  1. Dear Amy

    I have been reading with interest your pages about the Ormskirk Water Tower.

    I too had a look round this tower but in 2011.

    There is a lot of history relating to this tower in Ormskirk and the other ones in Ormskirk. There were at one point 6 altogether, sadly not all are still here.

    I have wrote an article on them here which you might find useful.

    Best wishes

    Edward McCarthy

    1. Thankyou! your article is really interesting and helpful too! I didn't know about the original six towers. Thanks again, Amy.

    2. Please do get in touch if you would like any information.