Address: 60 Cleveland Street, Marylebone, London W1T 4JZ

Time: No public entry

Phone: 0207 432 5970

1000m from Euston

400m from Goodge Street

The BT Tower is a telecommunications centre in London’s West End designed to transmit and broadcast internet and telephone information around the world. It was originally called The Post Office Tower, then the Telecom Tower before changing to its current name. It is a Grade II listed building.

It was opened in 1965 by the Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who rang the Lord Mayor of Birmingham at the ceremony. The building cost £2.5m, is 189m high, 20m in diameter, has 37 floors and until 1980 was the tallest building in London. Its foundations are 53m deep. It is of a cylindrical design which restricts sway, an essential element for the sensitive aerials. Another reason is a throwback to nuclear threat of the Cold War days of the 1960’s. It had been noted that following the explosion in Hiroshima, the only buildings standing were of circular design. As a communications centre, a lasting design was of paramount importance.

The Tower opened to the public in 1966 and a popular attraction was the ‘Top of the Tower’ revolving restaurant which gave wonderful views of the city below. It was opened by Sir Billy Butlin and Tony Benn and run by the Butlins group. The revolving part was 3m wide, ran on nylon wheels and took 22 minutes to revolve. The restaurant closed in 1980, but may reopen.

The Tower attracted 1.6m visitors in the first year, of which 100,000 visited the restaurant.

It has two high speed lifts that travel at 6 metres per second and are the only lifts in the country that are allowed to be used in evacuation. The Tower didn’t appear on maps until the mid 1990’s for security reasons.

As it towers above all other buildings in the area, it can easily be spotted from the top of many other landmarks in central London. Obvious examples are The Shard, London Eye and Westminster Cathedral and it can even be seen from the 28th floor bar and restaurant at the Park Lane Hilton.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.