The Croydon Water Tower is a grade 2 listed building built-in 1867 to provide clean water to the expanding population. It stands 125 feet high and was designed by Baldwin Latham, the borough engineer, in a Norman terracotta style.
The tower has a 30 foot diameter and cast iron girders supported a high level tank containing up to 40,00 gallons. A further tank of 94,000 gallons was situated in the basement. The top of the tower was 292 feet above sea level and this provided the necessary gravitational force to provide water to all of Croydon.
The site was discontinued in 1923 and replaced by a new reservoir on higher ground at Addington Hills. Both the tanks in the tower have been removed. There is a plaque marking the site as part of Croydon’s heritage, but it has long since been covered by vegetation. The metal fence keeps out any unwanted visitors.
The Canadian singer Susan Jacks sang about the Tower in 1973, it was called “Build a Tower” with an accompanying video of the Park Hill site. She was married to Terry Jacks who had a worldwide hit with “Seasons in the Sun” in 1974.
To see the Susan Jacks video Build a Tower that shows a clearer view of the Water Tower.
Park Hill itself is located only five minutes from East Croydon tram and rail station and provides an oasis of calm from the hustle and bustle of commuters and shoppers. With the recent announcement that Westfields have had their latest plans approved to build central Croydon’s mega shopping centre, it will be even more important to preserve this area.