A partially completed iron lattice tower. Its construction was an ambitious project to create a 358 meter high visitor attraction in Wembley Park, led by the railway entrepreneur Sir Edward Watkin. The “Great Tower of London“, it was designed to surpass the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The tower was never completed and it was demolished in 1907. The site of the tower is now occupied by the English national football ground, Wembley Stadium.

Remains of the foundations of Watkin’s Tower with the Wembley Stadium already visible c.1922
When the original stadium was rebuilt, the lowering of the level of the pitch resulted in the concrete foundations of the tower being rediscovered on the stadium site underneath the Twin Towers / Image source

In September 1895 the first stage of the tower was completed, standing at approximately 47 meters high. The structure’s foundations were unsteady – the reduction in the number of the tower’s legs, carried out to reduce costs, had resulted in increased pressure on each leg and this was causing subsidence.

Over the next few years, the construction company experienced problems financing the project. Work stopped, and the tower was never completed. Between 1904 and 1907, the completed section of the tower was demolished using dynamite.

The implemented planning draft (1894) in graphic comparison to the Eiffel Tower

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