Latest Tweet

Sunday 28 October 2018

Footit Peek, Guernsey (1890s)

© Photograph Copyright Dr Carmen Wheatley

Located at N 49.479359° W 2.528773°, in the top corner of the St Clair vinery1 meadows, on Delancey Hill. This is the only decorated Victorian water tower in Guernsey! Built by Gervase Footit Peek, founder of the Guernsey Press (builder of most of the 19th century vineries in the North part of the island) it is believed that the water tower was built in the 1890s.

The tower was intended to supply the vinery, but it may well also have been used for various households nearby. However, there are an abundance of private wells in the area, as there once were in the nearby Park.

The tower is in a field adjoining Dr Wheatley’s garden — once the home of Footit Peek — and part of the property. With guidance from Guernsey architectural historian, John McCormack, an expert in Channel Islands walls and houses, Dr Wheatley has had the south and east sides restored. The obscuring lime render on the East side has been chiselled away to reveal alternating bands of Cobo Bay pink granite and grey Guernsey granite. The cast iron tank was sandblasted clean and painted in various shades of historic Farrow and Ball off white paints.

© Photograph Copyright Dr Carmen Wheatley

The water source for this tower is not directly beneath it, but from a water reservoir far down the steep hill, below an escarpment, at a place called Waters Rocque, which is at a considerable distance from the vinery. Thus the Tower and area must contain a veritable underground marvel of Victorian hydraulic engineering!!

The Delancey Conservation Committee would like to have this unique water tower registered by Guernsey planners, as a local industrial architectural Monument — there is nothing else like this on Guernsey in this genre. The St Clair Vinery is a Conservation Area — it is an ecological, green and productive space.

1. The term vinery has been used to describe Guernsey's many acres of glasshouses, since the growing industry began in the latter half of the 19th century with production of grapes, melons, figs, peaches and other exotic fruit for the Victorian dinner table.

Information kindly supplied by:

Dr Carmen Wheatley
Delancey Conservation Committee

No comments: