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Sea Water Distilling Station, Tigné, Sliema

Architect: Captain T.J. Tresidder1881

In 1881 the first sea water distillery on the island was erected in Sliema in order to provide water to the British barracks on the Tigne Seafront. Sanitary conditions within the seaside suburb of Sliema were reported to be in an abominable state and it was decreed that remedial measures had to be undertaken without delay.  Captain Tresidder in the employment of the British corps of royal engineers, was entrusted with the preparation of a comprehensive drainage system for Sliema.

The ‘Sea Water Distilling’ station formed part of Tresidder’s grand scheme. The utilitarian building is treated in a restrained classical style, in the process exuding a measure of Victorian decorum. The low classical pediment that projects over the façade and the stepped rusticated quoins at the corner, were intended to project an image of an efficient and reliable facility.

The function of the facility and the date of its construction are inscribed in projecting stone for all to see.  The building ceased to function as a distillation station a few years after opening as the operating costs were deemed to be too high. The distillery was decommissioned and the building, which still stands today, has been occupied by a printing press since that time.


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