MDE21018 - Rhenish Tower, Lynmouth Pier (Building)

Summary

Rhenish Tower was built by General Rawdon to store salt water for indoor baths. It was later fitted with an electric light for use as a beacon. The original tower was built in c.1860. It was rebuilt as an exact replica after 1952 flood damage.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

Rhenish Tower is an early 19th Century tower built by General Rawdon. It is a small machicolated stone tower at the end of the quay, in imitation of look out towers on the Rhine. It was rebuilt following 1952 flood damage. The tower was rebuilt in 1954. It is a square tower with battered sides, set directly on the pier. At the top are two balconies in brickwork, carried on brick machicolations, plus a small brick turret carrying an open brazier, and a rubble unit with raked top, over a doorway. At quay level, on the south side, is a plank entrance door, and to its right a throughway giving access to the quay, with an opening to the east, facing the estuary. [1] The balconies are a later addition, because the tower was regarded as an eyesore. Pugsley [3] refers to Tugwell (1863, no further reference), who suggests that it copies a tower on the Rhine, hence its name. [4] Rhenish Tower was built by General Rawdon to store salt water for indoor baths. It was later fitted with an electric light for use as a beacon. The original tower was built in c1860. The present tower is an exact replica. [5] There may have originally been a fisherman's fire basket on Lynmouth Pier, but the tower was built in the mid 19th Century, being the gift of General Rawdon. It contained a water tank into which sea water was pumped and then piped to the General's house ('Beach House') for sea baths. The tower was later fitted with an electric light for beacon purposes, although originally it had a brazier placed atop. [6,7] The Rhenish Tower is a square stone tower, tapered with two balconies in brick, carried on brick machiolations. It is supposedly an imitation of one on the Rhine, built by General Rawdon. The listing details suggest mid-late 19th Century, but some sources suggest as early as 1820, although documentary evidence indicates a date after 1831. Its original function is variously described as providing sea-water for indoor baths, as a light to mariners and fishermen, but instead of the original tar-barrel flare, it was later electric with a white light visible for ten miles. It was virtually destroyed in the flood of 1952, but rebuilt in 1954, recorded on a stone in the tower. [8] The building was visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [9] The Rhenish Tower was demolished by the 1952 flood; a replica was built on the site afterwards. The tower was originally built to house a water tank supplying sea water to baths in the Bath Hotel (MDE20976) in around 1830, but was later embellished to look more attractive. It was suggested it looked like a tower on the Rhine and the name stuck, although the original constructore, General Rawdon, was supposed to have imitated a picture of a tower on the coast of modern Lebanon. [10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . Lynton, North Devon. 03/09/1973. P.8.
  • <2> Report: Weddell, P.J.. 1992. Preliminary Archaeological Assessment of Lynton Sewage Treatment Works. P.4.
  • <3> Article in serial: Pugsley, H.W.. 1945. The Tower on Lynmouth Pier. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 77. P.191-193.
  • <4> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . Lynton and Lynmouth. 09/06/1995. P.94.
  • <5> Report: Rance, C. + Weddell, P.J.. 1994. Archaeological Assessment of SWW Sewage Treatment Works at Lynton and Lynmouth (Manor House Scheme). P.4.
  • <6> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Penguin Books. P.118.
  • <7> Article in serial: Russell, P. M. G.. 1955. Fire Beacons in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. P.293.
  • <8> Report: Fisher, J.. 2003. Lynmouth: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. 15-16.
  • <9> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <10> Monograph: Binding, H., Pearce, B. and Pugsley, S.. 2001. Exmoor Century: A century of change through fascinating historic and contemporary photographs of Exmoor. Exmoor Books. 77.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7225 4966 (4m by 4m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS74NW
Civil Parish LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 858/1/4/86
  • Coastal Risk 2014: Flood Zone 3 fluvial & tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 2 fluvial and tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 3 fluvial and tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 3 tidal
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 29097
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 673
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/108
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/19
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20038
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:03PM

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