Record Details

NHER Number:3548
Type of record:Building
Name:Water House or Water Tower, Houghton Park


Designed before 1733 by the Earl of Pembroke in the Palladian style, with an open Doric portico on the first floor covering a balcony with a central pedimented door. The building has a rusticated ground floor and a Venetian window. The Water House is the only documented building that was designed by the Earl of Pembroke.


  • Houghton Hall water tower.  © Eastern Daily Press


Grid Reference:TF 7898 2946
Map Sheet:TF72NE

Full description

Water House (marked in entirely the wrong position by Ordnance Survey).
By Lord Pembroke, early 18th century.
Tall rectangular building in stuccoed brick. Northeast facade of three bays: ground floor rusticated with three blank arches, first floor has corner pilasters and 2 Tuscan columns supporting a pediment. Southeast side has one door in ground floor, and Venetian window between corner pilasters on first.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU) 21 July 1977.

On the other hand the building marked by Ordnance Survey may be the actual well house where a horse powered wheel raised the water for the above water tower.
E. Rose (NAU).

Yes: see NHER 15660.
E. Rose (NAU).

Second visit on 31 January 1980 confirmed above; ground floor occupied by huge water tanks.
First floor entirely occupied by the interconnecting balconies.
Very poor condition.
E. Rose (NAU)

Restored in 1984, winning a craftsmanship award.
E. Rose (NAU) 14 March 1984.

Listed grade I.
See (S1) for parallels.
E. Rose (NAU) 28 October 1985.

Press cuttings in file.

See also (S2) which states this was the longest record of service of any water tower (up to 2003).
E. Rose (NLA), 7 February 2004.

Monument Types

  • WATER TOWER (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7829A-C.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Water tower at hall gets top prize. 13 March.
---Newspaper Article: Dereham and Fakenham Times. 1984. Tower project at the top. 16 March.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF7829/E - L.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TF 7829AS - AU.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Water still flows from the estate's old tower. 21 August.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Article in Serial: Harris, J.. 1969. The Water House at Houghton.. The Burlington Magazine. No 3. pp 300-301.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 435.
---Documentary Source: Rosemary Bowden-Smith. 1987. The Water House.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England.
<S2>Monograph: Barton, B.. 2003. Water towers of Britain and their part in bringing water to the people..

Related records

30463Part of: Houghton Park (Designed Landscape)
15660Related to: Houghton Well, Water House, Houghton Park (Monument)

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