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Latitude: 51.3331 / 51°19'59"N
Longitude: -2.7073 / 2°42'26"W
OS Eastings: 350822
OS Northings: 159571
OS Grid: ST508595
Mapcode National: GBR JK.WCQB
Mapcode Global: VH895.1R4F
Entry Name: Blagdon Lodge
Listing Date: 20 March 2015
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1424250
Location: Blagdon, North Somerset, BS40
County: North Somerset
Civil Parish: Blagdon
Traditional County: Somerset
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset
A fishing lodge built in c1900 by the Bristol Waterworks Company on the edge of Blagdon Lake (formerly called Yeo Reservoir), which formed part of the waterworks at Blagdon built in 1898-1905 to designs by Charles Hawksley.
A rustic-style fishing lodge built in c1900 by the Bristol Waterworks Company on the south-west shore of Blagdon Lake, formerly called the Yeo Reservoir, and possibly designed by Charles Hawksley as part of the waterworks in Blagdon (1898-1905).
MATERIALS: timber-framed with whitewashed nogging. It has a large stone tiled pitched roof with overhanging, swept eaves with exposed rafter ends, and a tall brick chimney stack to the rear roof slope.
PLAN: the single storey building has a rectangular plan with clubhouse to the front and vestibule, changing rooms and toilets also accessible via a separate side entrance and corridor along the rear elevation. Small fishing licence booth to the side, and paved outdoor fish weighing area at the rear south-east corner.
EXTERIOR: the three bay west elevation has three entrances with timber planked doors, each flanked to the left by a metal casement window. The lakeside front to the north is four bays wide with an entrance to the clubhouse situated centre-left below a hipped gabled roof projection. The entrance has a timber door with six paned glazing to the top half, framed to either side by full height fixed marginal lights. To its left is one three light metal casement window, with a further two to its right. The east side elevation has a large five light metal casement window. The rear elevation is four bays wide, with to the left, two 16-paned two-light Crittal windows, the projecting bay with the toilet block to the centre-right and on the corner the open fish weighing area set under the roof canopy.
INTERIOR: vertical timber panelling to the internal walls throughout, with large cast iron clothes hooks in the vestibule. The clubhouse has large metal racks attached to the ceiling for storing rods and other fishing equipment, and has a full height red brick chimney breast with bracketed timber mantel shelf.
CONTEXT: the fishing lodge stands at the end of Holt Lane (off Park Lane) in landscaped grounds planted with mature specimen trees (c1900) on the south shore of Blagdon Lake (formerly the Yeo Reservoir), with fine views over the lake and its surrounding landscape, and to the meter house and the dam.
In recommending the extent of designation of the various structures and buildings under designation, we have considered whether powers of exclusion under s.1 (5A) of the 1990 Act are appropriate, and consider that they are, and the two C20 buildings to the south of the Lodge are not included in the list entry.
The waterworks at Blagdon, Somerset, built by the Bristol Waterworks Company (now Bristol Water) in 1898-1905, were authorised by two Acts of Parliament in 1888 and 1889. They were designed and constructed under the direction of Charles Hawksley of the engineers firm T & C Hawksley of Westminster in a decorative Jacobean style, to house engines and boilers designed and constructed by Hydraulic & Sanitary Engineers Glenfield & Kennedy Limited of Kilmarnock, Scotland. The latter were installed at Blagdon in 1904, and are believed to be the last of the water pumping beam engines that were installed at waterworks in England throughout the C19, the oldest being those at Kew, Greater London.
Charles Hawksley (1839-1917) was a civil engineer, educated at University College School, London. He was the son of civil engineer Thomas Hawksley, who had his firm in Westminster. Charles became his apprentice in 1854, and in 1866 was taken into partnership by his father. After his father's death in 1893 he became head of the firm. Charles' professional work was principally in connection with waterworks: parts of those at Catcleugh, near Rochester are listed, as are those at Butterley, Kirklees. Charles was a prominent figure in the Committee Rooms in Parliament during his career, where he frequently gave evidence as a technical expert. In 1901 he became President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and in 1907 established the Thomas Hawksley Fund to provide an annual lecture and medal in memory of his father. In honour of Charles, the Institution of Civil Engineers awards the Charles Hawksley Prize.
The Bristol Waterworks Company (BW) was formally established on 16 July 1846 by an Act of Parliament. Their plans for supplying fresh water from the Mendips to the entire city of Bristol, were weighed up by the Government against those submitted by a rival group, the Society of Merchant Venturers, which was backed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, seeking only to supply water to the wealthier parts of Bristol. The BW was led by prominent local citizens, including William Budd, a physician, George Thomas, a Quaker and philanthropist and Francis and Richard Fry, also Quakers and local industrialists. In 1847 the BW managed to built a 16km long Line of Works conduit to bring fresh water into Bristol. Sand filters were added to treat the water and chlorination was introduced in 1935. Their first reservoir was created in 1850 at Barrow, followed by those at Blagdon, which included the pumping station, Cheddar (early 1930s) and Chew Stoke (1956). Despite the widespread move from private to public ownership of water supplies in the mid- to late C19, as encouraged by the government, BW was one of very few companies in England that remained privately owned.
In preparation for the building of the waterworks at Blagdon, an Inspector’s House was built on raised ground in order to oversee the construction of the earth dam for the reservoir started in 1898. Whilst the reservoir started to fill, reaching its top level in 1903, works on the pumping station began in 1902. The Bristol Waterworks Company supported the construction of the Wrington Vale Light Railway by the Great Western Railway, started in 1898 and opened in 1901. A public station was built and a short branch with siding station (disused since 1950) led to the pumping station, initially to deliver building materials and later to supply coal. The construction of the reservoir, with dam, valve house and road bridge and the pumping station with receiving tanks, outlet and by-wash, are extensively documented in a set of photographs of c1902 (private collection). It also included a small meter house (now a bat sanctuary), and sewage works, now disused (in separate ownership) and replaced in the later C20 with new works nearer the pumping station (in separate ownership).
As reported by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1908 and 1930, the watershed area draining to the Yeo reservoir was c2144ha, and when full the reservoir’s area of surface water covered c182ha, with a capacity of holding well over 1770 million gallons of water. During the construction of its c485m long embankment dam with a maximum height of 13m, a tunnel with a 3m diameter was in use for the passage of floods, which had two sets of valves. The puddle trench of the dam was one of the deepest in England: its construction presented great difficulty as it was found necessary to excavate to a depth of c53m below the valley bottom before an impervious foundation in the red marl was secured. The length of the weir at the head of the by-wash for carrying off floodwater was c55m.
The pumping station consisted of two engine houses with a tall decorative chimney (truncated in the 1960s), each containing two Woolf compound rotative beam engines, a boiler house containing six Lancashire boilers and two sets of Green’s economisers, two coal stores and a number of workshops to the rear. Two receiving tanks, each with a capacity of 567000 gallons, were supplied with water from the Yeo reservoir, and by cast iron pipes from the Rickford and Langford springs. In 1949 two of the beam engines were replaced with smaller electric pumps. The other two have been preserved, one fitted with an electric motor to show it in action. In the 1960s, the tall, decorative central chimney stack to the pumping station was lowered.
After completion of the pumping station, the grounds were laid out as ornamental gardens, planted with a large number of specimen trees such as Scots pine, Cedar, Larch, Spruce, Oak, Beech, Chestnut, Willow, Lime, Holly, and Maple. Extensive ornamental woodland planting also took place around the reservoir, and a grass perimeter walk was laid out, as proposed in 1900. It was probably around that date that the Blagdon Lodge was built, a small fishing lodge on the edge of the reservoir, matching the rustic timber framed style of the nearby Inspection House.
In the later C20 some of the land and properties associated with the waterworks at Blagdon were sold, including the former Inspection House. Replacement sewage works and an electrical substation were built to the rear of the pumping station. Since then, the weir at the top of the bye-wash has been replaced, retaining the decorative, curved inspection bridge, which was relocated further downstream where it crosses the bye-wash. Today (2014) the pumping station remains in use, and the 1960s replacement pump engine is currently (2014) being replaced by a new model. As part of these works a new valve house is constructed on the dam, south of the earlier valve house (itself a later replacement). The meter house standing on the southern edge of the reservoir is now a bat sanctuary. The Inspection House, now in separate ownership, is in use as a private dwelling.
Blagdon fishing lodge was built in c1900 by the Bristol Waterworks Company on the south shore of the reservoir that forms part of the waterworks at Blagdon (1898-1905) designed by Charles Hawksley.
Blagdon Lodge on the south-west shore of Blagdon Lake, Blagdon, Somerset, merits listing at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest and rarity: it is a good and relatively rare survival of a fishing lodge built in c1900 as part of the waterworks in Blagdon, to allow fishing on the reservoir for public enjoyment, displaying good quality architectural detailing.
* Historic interest: it has a strong and interesting historic association with the Bristol Waterworks Company, whose philanthropic ambitions as expressed by its founders are expressed in its overall design.
* Intactness: it has survived mostly intact.
* Group value: it has strong and important group value with the associated contemporary pumping station and other waterworks structures at Blagdon.
Other nearby listed buildings