Pavilion at Hewlett's Reservoir


Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1104324

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1983

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Apr-2015

Statutory Address: Pavilion, Hewlett's Reservoir, Harp Hill, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham


Ordnance survey map of Pavilion at Hewlett's Reservoir
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Statutory Address: Pavilion, Hewlett's Reservoir, Harp Hill, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham

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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cheltenham (District Authority)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: SO9733022287


A pavilion, possibly originally a valve house, constructed around the 1870s, as part of the Hewlett’s Reservoir complex.

Reasons for Designation

The pavilion at Hewlett’s Reservoir, a probable former valve house dating from circa 1870, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: the building is an ornamental pavilion with picturesque detailing, which belies its functional purpose and instead gives the appearance of a country house garden building; * Group value: the pavilion forms part of a good group of buildings at this, the earliest surviving complex of covered reservoirs, which includes Reservoirs 1 and 2, and the gates, piers and boundary walls, all listed at Grade II.


Cheltenham, and its suburb Charlton Kings, were expanding rapidly in the early years of the C19, and by the 1820s, the water supply was becoming inadequate. The response was the setting up of the Cheltenham Water Works Company, by Act of Parliament, in 1824. The company purchased a five-acre site set high on a hillside in Charlton Kings, off Hewlett’s Road (now Harp Hill), on which to build its new works. The site, which would collect water from the Northfield Springs on the surrounding hillsides, was selected as it was sufficiently high to allow the water supply to be fed to the town by gravity, rather than requiring pumping. The first underground reservoir on the site, with a capacity of 413,000 gallons, built in stone and designed by James Walker of Limehouse, was built in 1824, along with a custodian’s house, and supplied with a showy entrance with gates and gatepiers incorporating the Company’s crest. Water was carried through two miles of cast-iron pipes from the reservoir to the High Street in Cheltenham. The site was enlarged following a further Act of Parliament, and a second underground reservoir was added in 1839, also designed by James Walker; this brick-built reservoir was much larger than the first, with a capacity of 2 million gallons. Despite this, issues continued with the inconsistency of supply during the summer months, and in 1847, Henry Dangerfield, the County Surveyor, designed a new, open brick reservoir which covered three acres at Hewlett’s, holding 9 million gallons, which were drawn from more reliable springs further afield. Expansion of the complex, which was provided with a consistent boundary wall enclosing the entire site, was completed in 1857, with a still larger, fourth, open reservoir, this one with lobed brick walls.

The pavilion was added to the site in the mid-C19, probably as a valve-house, though it no longer contains any plant. It provided one of the principal decorative elements of the reservoir complex.

The Hewlett’s Reservoir site remains in use, now storing water extracted from the River Severn at the Mythe Pumping Station at Tewkesbury though No.1 reservoir is now redundant. A concrete cover on piers was added to No.3 reservoir in 1966, after it was found that the pre-treated water it held was deteriorating in the open. No.4 reservoir was abandoned in 1965, and demolished in the 1990s. The custodian’s house was altered and extended in the later C20.


A pavilion, possibly originally a valve house, constructed around the 1870s, as part of the Hewlett’s Reservoir complex.

MATERIALS Red brick with vermiculated stone quoins and plinth, fishscale slate roof and iron verandah.

PLAN Octagonal on plan, single cell.

EXTERIOR The single-storey, octagonal building has a doorway to one wall and pointed windows (replaced in uPVC) to each of the other walls. The pointed-arched door is ledged and braced, with decorative strap hinges. The roof extends on all sides as a verandah, supported on colonnettes, with ornamental decoration to the eaves. The apex carries a cast-iron weathervane.

INTERIOR The building is a single cell, with plastered walls, moulded cornice and timber floorboards. The ceiling is clad in timber.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 474691

Legacy System: LBS


Books and journals
O'Connor, David A., Harvey, Ian , Troubled Waters: The Great Cheltenham Water Controversy, (2007)

End of official listing