Warwickshires most notable houses has gone on the market and is attracting
people with a head for heights.
The Water Tower
on Tainters Hill in Kenilworth, built in the mid 18th century, is now a six
bedroom house belonging to businessman Stephen Drucker, who runs the eponymous coffee and
It is the first time it has been on the market for 17 years and has already attracted
The property is 90ft tall and was built by Joseph Lee and John Lamb a haberdasher from
Warwick. The mill was sold on in 1778 to and then converted to steam in 1884.
Less than 30 years later it became a water tower and doubled in height to its present
stature and topped with a massive tank. It continued to supply the town until the Second
World War and was put on the market in 1970.
Conversion work started in 1972 and took two years. The work, undertaken by architect
Edward Byron, won an award from the United Kingdom Council for European Architectural
Heritage complete with a certificate signed by the Duke of Edinburgh, which will be
inherited by the new owners.
The principle accommodation is in the bottom section of the tower while the extension
houses a hall, living room, dining room and a kitchen. There are six bedrooms including
the top floor with views that stretch as far as the Costwolds.
Mr Drucker has not got tired of the property or the view, and is looking for something
else which is not "run-of-the-mill".
"When you have lived in something a bit different you get a taste for things like
this. I am looking for another unusual property."
Gabrielle Mallard, of Stratford agents John Shepherd Martin Sedgwick, said:
By Way Of Introduction: (From the Estate Agents)
It is understood that the building was constructed as a Windmill in the mid 18th
Century by Joseph Lee of Warwick, described as Gentlemen and John Lamb of Warwick,
Haberdasher. There is evidence of a sale in 1778 of the Mill as a going concern. The
building continued to be used as a working Windmill until 1854 when steam power was
introduced. In 1885 the mill machinery was removed and the building converted into a Water
Tower. This involved the doubling of the height of the brickwork and surmounting it with a
26000 gallon iron tank. This became the town's first Waterworks and provided most of
Kenilworth's water supply until 1939. The supply from this tank was in fact in use for
auxiliary purposes until approximately 1964. In 1970 Kenilworth Urban District Council,
anxious to ensure the preservation of such an important and historic landmark, offered it
for sale by tender on condition that it should be sympathetically restored and converted
for use as a private dwelling house. Plans submitted by the Architect, Mr Edward Byron of
Leamington Spa, were accepted and a conversion was commenced in late 1972 and completed in
1974. This imaginative conversion incorporates a new ground floor extension cleverly
designed to harmonise with the character. The tower and the whole now forms a unique and
comfortable home successfully linking the past with the present.
From the upper floors there are magnificent views over the ancient town of Kenilworth
with its famous castle and the tower stands within a few hundred yards of the field known
as Parliament Piece where it is reputed Simon DeMontfort held the first English Parliament
In 1975 the property won an Architectural Heritage Award from the United Kingdom
Council for European Architectural Heritage. The Award, signed by HRH Duke of Edinburgh,
will be passed to the new owners of the property.