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Water Tower at Minley Manor

A Grade II Listed Building in Blackwater and Hawley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.3129 / 51°18'46"N

Longitude: -0.8212 / 0°49'16"W

OS Eastings: 482252

OS Northings: 157741

OS Grid: SU822577

Mapcode National: GBR D8X.P5R

Mapcode Global: VHDXN.Q86D

Entry Name: Water Tower at Minley Manor

Listing Date: 26 June 1987

Last Amended: 19 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1258232

English Heritage Legacy ID: 136744

Location: Blackwater and Hawley, Hart, Hampshire, GU17

County: Hampshire

District: Hart

Civil Parish: Blackwater and Hawley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Minley

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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Water Tower, 245m south of Minley Manor, 1896 for Laurence Currie, attributed to Arthur Castings.


Water Tower, 245m south of Minley Manor, 1896 for Laurence Currie, attributed to Arthur Castings.

MATERIALS: red brick laid in English bond with limestone dressings and flint chequerwork with a slate roof.

PLAN: the water tower is situated 250m south of Minley Manor. It has a square plan with a circular stair turret on the south elevation.

EXTERIOR: the principal elevation faces west and is in three stages; it has a raised paved platform in front, reached by four stone steps with low retaining walls with moulded copings. The ground floor of the tower is of stone with knapped flint chequer-work above the entrance, which is within a canted bay. The architrave is chamfered and above is a blind ogee arch with grotesque stops and cusped relief mouldings beneath a crocketed finial. The returns have a four centre arched opening. Above is a small, two-light mullioned window in a chamfered stone frame. Brickwork above is plain up to a stone corbel table of pseudo-machicolations. On three faces there is a half-dormer with a stone mullioned and transomed window beneath a half-hipped roof which is set against the main roof, which is flared at the base and clad in fishscale slates. An octagonal lantern on a tall base, and with an ogival copper roof surmounted by a finial, rises from the apex. The stair turret attached to the side of the tower is brick with stone drip moulds and small windows in stone surrounds beneath a separate conical roof, also clad in fishscale slates.

INTERIOR: the entrance is open to the interior, which is a single cell with an inner doorway to the stair. Walls are lined with terracotta mosaic and the ceiling is boarded timber with a plaque dated 1896 in Roman numerals. Red and white limestone is laid in a geometric pattern on the floor; a stone bench is built into the wall.


In 1855 the manor of Minley was bought by Raikes Currie (1801-1881), a wealthy banker and Liberal politician. He immediately commissioned Henry Clutton to build a country house on the site (NHLE 1258061).

Clutton, 1819-1893, designed a grand, French Renaissance inspired house, based initially on the chateau at Blois, and a number of other estate buildings, including the Church of St Andrew (NHLE 1258200). When Raikes Currie died in 1881 the estate was passed to his son Bertram Wodehouse Currie (1827-1896) who did not favour Clutton’s design and in 1885 employed George Devey (1820-1886) to make extensive alterations to the house and grounds. Devey died the following year and his designs were executed by his chief draughtsman and successor, Arthur Castings (1853-1913).

Arthur Castings was born on 17 March 1853 at St Pancras and had become Devey's chief draughtsman by the time of the census of 1881. Following Devey’s death Castings set up office at Lincoln's Inn Fields to complete the work at Minley, and St Paul's Waldenbury, the latter for the Earl of Strathmore. When Castings died in 1913 his practice was closed.

Bertram Currie’s son Laurence inherited the estate in 1896 and continued to develop it, employing Castings again. The water tower dates from this period and is likely to be the work of Castings.

The entire estate was sold to the Army in 1936. The doorway to the tower stair has been blocked externally but the structure remains otherwise unaltered, forming a distinctive landscape feature.

Reasons for Listing

The water tower south of Minley Manor, 1896 for Laurence Currie, attributed to Arthur Castings, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: the otherwise functional water tower is given a striking form and its distinctive and elegant silhouette forms a widely visible landmark on the estate;
* Design interest: treated in a style that derives from other buildings on the estate, using a similar palette of materials;
* Historic interest: the principal mansion, together with the other associated buildings and landscape illustrate the evolution of a mid-C19 to early C20 landed estate that comprises buildings by two significant and influential C19 architects, Clutton and Devey, and latterly Devey’s draughtsman Castings, laid out in collaboration with a major horticulturalist;   
* Group value: Minley Manor exemplifies a landed estate set in a registered designed landscape, marked by a number of listed buildings of note which together form an exceptional and very complete group.

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