Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Wembley Park Tower

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1890. Stewart, McLaren and Dunn's design for a Great Tower for London, height 1200ft.
1890. John Graham's design for a Great Tower for London, height 1300ft.
1890. Design for a Great Tower for London, height 1290ft.

Sir Edward William Watkin (1819-1901) was responsible for building the Wembley Park Tower, otherwise known as "The Great Tower of London", or "Watkin's Folly", on what is now the site of Wembley Stadium. The "Folly" was a tower intended to exceed the Eiffel Tower in height after that was successfully built and erected by 1889.

A competition was held; the prize winning design was by Stewart, McLaren and Dunn of Westminster. However this design was not adopted. Sir Benjamin Baker was subsequently instructed to proceed with the work on a simpler and cheaper plan; Mr. Stewart was appointed as joint engineer.

1893 Construction work began by Mr H. Heenan

1894 The steel work up to the first landing had been completed but it never progressed any further.

1896 The first stage of the Wembley Tower, being constructed by the Metropolitan Tower Construction Co, had been completed and visitors would be able to ascend to a platform of about 1 acre in extent, some 150 feet above ground, to view the countryside. The tower had been constructed by Mr Hammersely Heenan, using 3000 tons of steel[1].

1904 The tower was later demolished and the steelwork sold to Italy as scrap early in the twentieth century [2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. North Eastern Daily Gazette, 18 May 1896
  2. SS 03/01/2012