Mersey Dock Engineer Jesse Hartley, designed the once splendid Central Hydraulic Tower and Engine House at Birkenhead Docks. The building was a source of power for the movement of lock gates, bridges, hydraulic capstans etc, The building was completed in 1863 its design being base on the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza Della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
Clearly visible is the rather crude repair work instigated following severe bomb damage during WWII. Some accounts claim that the lantern top on the tower was removed during WWII as a result of damage. It was actually still in place until the 1960s. Now the building is in a serious state of decay and has attracted the attention of "Urban Explorers" who have managed to enter the structure and post some rather interesting photographs on various Urban Exploration web sites.
The building is eventually to be restored and converted into a restaurant and bar with an adjacent hotel block as part of Peel Group's Wirral Waters scheme to redevelop the Birkenhead Dockland area. These photographs were taken from Mersey Ferries' MV SNOWDROP operating the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society's "Birkenhead Docker" charter cruise on October 26, 2013.