Cawston Water Tower

Designed by Sir Ernest George, the building was built in 1897. It was turned into a dwelling in 2003 by David Forster (the owner). It has taken 9 years until now and is still on-going. The tower has been shown on Channel 5’s “Build A New Life In The Country” three times. The tower has a 80ft well in the middle which holds 50,000 gallons of water. There is a glass floor on the ground and first floor so you can look down into the well. This building is not for people who suffer from vertigo!

A Grade II Listed Building

The building is the only (decagon) 10 sided brick water tower in England and possibly Europe. The tower is shrouded in history and has been struck by lightening three times!

I was called in to build the 10 sided structural oak windows and the decagon roof of the extension to the main tower.

It had to be in keeping with the main tower’s roof and windows. The extension has a ten sided king post in the centre with 10 collars tieing into the principal rafters to avoid spread.

I built an arch on the 10th side with a valley above to form the entrance hall from the extension to the main tower.

The doorway through the side of the tower is still to be cut which will take some time because the walls are 2ft thick and are made of a very hard brick.

The attention to detail was a must, which included:

  • Arches to every window and door
  • Roman numerals carved into every piece of the oak
  • Every piece of wood is sanded, chamfered or rounded then oiled
  • The post in the centre of the decagon roof had to be made out of 4 separate pieces of wood.
  • The compound cuts on the roof timbers had to be first cut with chainsaw and then planed to shape because the cuts were so long (over 2ft)

This project has been challenging yet exhilarating to work on.