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The first Jumbo

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Jumbo profile

The Balkerne Water Tower is a structure of exceptional architectural and historic interest, and is of great importance both nationally and locally
– Historic England.


£1m Funding Bid for Jumbo successful!

Colchester has been awarded £18.2 million from the Government's Town Fund.

Of this award, £1 million has been allocated for the first phase of the restoration of Jumbo. Details here (opens in new window).

£80,000 for illuminating Jumbo at night is also included. BTT researched the scheme for this and it was included in the original bid at our request.

Planning and preparation for all this will take place during 2021.

Jumbo lit up
A computer image of Jumbo illuminated at night



The Grade II* listed Jumbo is the largest remaining Victorian water tower in Britain, and an increasingly rare example of one in an original condition.

We will continue to press for our vision for Jumbo as a national heritage attraction, with the maximum practicable public access to a restored building, ample historical interpretation and floodlighting.

Please explore the links on this page for everything about this important and fascinating building.

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What has BTT achieved?

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Buy the book!

Book Cover Image

Published by the BTT with an introduction by Andrew Phillips, the book is available at Red Lion Books, Waterstones, Firstsite and the Visitor Information Centre, Colchester, price £9.99.

If you live outside Colchester please email Red Lion Books

All profits from its sale will help to secure the future of the tower as a national heritage attraction.

Jumbo water tower
"Its mass is awesome"
(Inspector A J Bingham, Appeal Decision 2001)