Jumbo Water Tower in Colchester, England

In the heart of Colchester stands the Jumbo Water Tower, considered a striking architectural wonder. The tower reaches 131 feet high and is made up of 1.2 million red bricks. The structure earned the nickname “Jumbo,” after an elephant at the London Zoo.

In 1883, surveyor and engineer Charles Clegg built the water tower in a Romanesque Revival campanile style. At the time, it was England’s second-largest water tower, with its tank holding 230,000 gallons of water. Today, the tower is the largest remaining Victorian water tower in Britain. 

Despite its architectural significance, the water tower faced a period of uncertainty after its redundancy in 1987. In 2001, the tower’s tank was almost turned into a glass-walled penthouse. In December 2021, the current owner Paul Flatman and North Essex Heritage designed plans to turn the tower into a vibrant hub of activity. Construction of a restaurant, visitor experience, and historical interpretation space are underway, breathing life back into the landmark. 

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