The commission to build the Great Grimsby Hydraulic Tower went to a Mr JW Wild. The design fell to Wild upon his return from his grand tour of Egypt, the Mediterranean and the Middle East; some of his notable public buildings were erected in Alexandria and Tehran, and the mark of his travels can be seen in his design. The Tower is based primarily upon the 'Torre de Mangia' clock tower of the Palazzo Pubblico, in Siena, Italy, but Wild combined the feel of this building with the grand scale of the obelisks of Egypt and the minarets of the great mosques to produce a building of terrific grace, power and beauty.
The central pier between the locks upon which the Tower now stands was constructed at the same time as the locks themselves. The pier area was excavated to a depth of 10ft, whereupon 35ft-long fir piles were sunk as foundation and the excavated area capped with 2ft of concrete. The pier sides were lined with spiked firs and the stone walls laid against them, the blocks 5.5ft x 4.5ft and 2ft thick were then faced with 6-inch thick York stone flags. A hardcore foundation thenContinued page 8/15