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Decision Summary

This building has been assessed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest. The asset currently does not meet the criteria for listing. It is not listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended.

Name: Listing and Designation Online application

Reference Number: 1421514


Located on the eastern side of the island, on the coastline.

Latitude - Longitude: 50.553675,-2.418827

Lat: 50° 33' 13.2294" Long: -2° 25' 7.7766"

Grid Reference: SY 70421 72735

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Dorset
District Type: Unitary Authority
Parish: Portland

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Decision Date: 16-Jul-2014


Reasons for currently not Listing the Building

CONTEXT: English Heritage has received an application to consider Folly Pier Waterworks on the Isle of Portland for designation. There is no specific threat to the site but the applicant is concerned that it may be affected in the future by a gas storage facility which has been established in the area. It is situated within an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

HISTORY/DETAILS: a pumping station was constructed at East Weare to the south-west of Folly Pier, an C18 or early-C19 quay, in the mid-C19 to provide a water supply to Portland Convict Establishment (now HM Prison Portland) which opened in 1848. Its construction was overseen by Chief Engineer Jonathon Coode who was also responsible for work on Portland’s harbour and many of its fortifications during the mid-C19. The site is marked on the Ordnance Survey maps of 1891 and 1903 as ‘Folly Pier Water Works (Prison Department)’. A number of buildings, a retaining wall to the cliff edge, several small tanks, and a group of three reservoirs are depicted on these maps. A late-C19 or early-C20 photograph of the site provides evidence for the layout and design of the principal buildings which included a pumping house, boiler house and a chimney; all are built of Portland stone under slate roofs. Fresh and salt water was stored in separate reservoirs and tanks at the site and was then pumped to the prison. The waterworks remained operational until the early 1920s, but closed following an outbreak of typhoid. Its reservoirs were subsequently used as swimming pools for the prisoners, with annual swimming galas being held there for a number of years. Photographs provided by the applicant and historic maps indicate that most, if not all of the waterworks buildings, have either been demolished or have collapsed in the intervening years. Only the stone foundations of some structures and the reservoirs, which have walls of Portland stone, are understood to survive, although the site is very overgrown.

DISCUSSION: the Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings (2010) state that assets will only be given the protection of national designation if they can be shown to be of special architectural or historical interest. The English Heritage Listing Selection Guide for Utilities and Communications (2011) provides specific guidance on selecting waterworks buildings for listing, based on the survival of historic plant and on architectural interest, tempered by the degree of alteration. The legibility of surviving structures within a wider complex will also be an important consideration. Also of relevance is the Listing Selection Guide for Industrial Structures (2011) which notes that where an industrial process (in this case, water treatment) involved numerous components on a site, the issue of completeness may become overriding. On an integrated site single surviving buildings are only likely to justify listing if they are of architectural quality or are innovatory structures. It also notes the importance of technical innovation, the degree of alteration and historic interest.

The English Heritage Scheduling Selection Guide for Utilities (2012) states that ‘very few post-medieval utilities sites have been scheduled in the past and our approach is not to recommend further sites for such protection unless they take the form of nationally-important earthwork or buried remains. Listing is generally ‘the more appropriate designation for the protection of the utilities-related assets…’. Folly Pier Waterworks was not one of the sites recommended for designation during the English Heritage Monument Protection Programme’s assessment of the country's water and sewage industries undertaken between 1995 and 2001.

Folly Pier Waterworks does not meet the criteria for designation for the following principal reasons:

* Degree of survival: the surviving structures do not represent a complete, or nearly complete, survival of the waterworks since much of the site has been demolished, reducing the context and significance of what remains; * Architectural interest: the three reservoirs are isolated physical remnants, built to a standard construction and architecturally modest; * Representation: one of a large number of waterworks built throughout the country from the 1840s. As such, the site does not form part of the formative phase of the Victorian water supply industry from which many of the most significant examples have been selected for listing or scheduling.

CONCLUSION: Folly Pier Waterworks is clearly of local historical interest for its association with the mid-C19 Portland Convict Establishment, but in the national context, it does not survive sufficiently intact or have the necessary special historic or architectural interest to merit statutory designation.

SOURCES: D R G Legg, Portland Prison Illustrated 1848-2000 http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Portland_Prison_illustrated_1848_2000.html?id=5FwptwAACAAJ&redir_esc=y Accessed on 12 June 2014

McMaster University Libraries, Coode, John, 1816-1892 http://library.mcmaster.ca/archives/findaids/fonds/c/coode.htm Accessed on 12 June 2014

National Grid Reference: SY7042472724

This copy shows the entry on 22-Oct-2020 at 05:24:53.