One of the most famous works of Victorian architecture is the iconic electrician reservoir VIC. It is a wood and glass construction, which has been around for years, but until now has not had a proper book dedicated to it.
Built by the Methodist Cluniac Society in 1849 as a water tank, it was used by the church for several centuries before being converted into a water tank and then a tower. The current work of restoration has brought this Tudor style tower down from its top of the reservoir and rebuilt it in its current state as an electrical engineering marvel.
The Vicarage is a great place to start the tour of the reservoir. From the top walk out on to the terrace of the tower. Here you can see and hear the steam escaping from the main generator, and from here you can look over the water tank as well as the other tower work.
Next, you have a choice of walking along with the garden, where there are a rose border and a green garden filled with colourful flowers and plants. You can also stay overnight if you like. There is a small flat with a roof terrace that overlooks the garden.
After breakfast, you can have your lunch here at the picnic table with a typical Victorian workbench next to you. You can even try to fish for trout on the banks!
Once you are done with lunch and dinner, you can continue your tour of the reservoir. There is a pretty and well-maintained museum. The next attraction is a reconstructed Victorian boiler house, where they made the entire heating system, including the boilers.
On top of the tower are two more wooden towers, which we’re intending to have a roof with openings for the rain to enter the tower, but eventually only one of the towers was ever built. Today you can also get a fascinating view of the river as it flows through the reservoir, and the reservoir itself.
You can also walk from the reservoir to the house of the Greenes, which was just a small water tank. The house today is a little cottage, where the museum is situated. As you walk in, you can hear the sounds of the waterfall roaring in the distance, and you can see the slide on the bank.
This modern house has windows on all sides and windows where the doors open outwards. There is also a small private garden where you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. For entertainment, there is a small pool table where the children can enjoy a good game.
This is a wonderful location to get a taste of Victorian history. However, it is worth mentioning that there is no public transport nearby so you will have to take a taxi to the Victoria Barracks Train Station or take the bus from the station.
If you would rather travel by train or bus, you can either catch the Victoria Tank Station or take the Waterloo and City Line, which run directly from Waterloo to Victoria and back again. Both buses and trains stop here.
You could also do a long walk from the water tank to the historic end of Victoria Street. From here you can look over the town and the stunning buildings that have been restored.