21 January 1971: Emley Moor Mast, Britain’s tallest “building”, opens

On this day in 1971, the 350-metre high concrete transmitting tower known as the Emley Moor Mast was opened, becoming Britain's tallest “freestanding structure”.

Here at MoneyWeek we're big fans of London's Shard. We used to have a fine view of it from our office window, and watching it slowly rise above London Bridge station from the comfort of MoneyWeek Towers was very satisfying. The view from (near) the top is incredible, too, for those that have £25+ to spare. Its owners, and pretty much everybody else, claim it is Britain's tallest building, topping out at 309.7m (1,016 feet to old people, stubborn people, and Americans), with a viewing platform at 244m.

But in Yorkshire, they take a different view. As they would. To them, Britain's tallest building stands up on a hill near Huddersfield. The mighty and very elegant, in a brutalist concrete way, Emley Moor Mast. At 330.5m (1,084 feet) high, it is indeed a fair bit taller than the Shard. It has a viewing platform, too, 275m up – but it is a technical control room, and not a place the public routinely has access to. It is undoubtedly the tallest “freestanding structure” in the UK – but a building? Perhaps; perhaps not.

There has been a broadcast transmitter on the site since 1956. Originally, it was a 135m lattice tower built by the Independent Television Authority. That was replaced in 1966 by a guyed mast that was actually taller than the current tower, at 385m. But in March 1969, a winter storm brought it down. Later that year, work began on the construction of the current concrete tower, which opened on this day in 1971, broadcasting TV and radio over a 10,000km2 area.

Today the mast is officially known (though not by very many people) as the Arqiva Tower. And in 2002, English Heritage granted it Grade II Listed status

Recommended

28 May 1937: the Volkswagen car company is formed
This day in history

28 May 1937: the Volkswagen car company is formed

On this day in 1937, Volkswagen, now the world's second-biggest vehicle-maker, was founded as the 'Society to Prepare the German People’s Car'.
28 May 2021
1 April 1999: The minimum wage is introduced in Britain
This day in history

1 April 1999: The minimum wage is introduced in Britain

On this day in 1999, the national minimum wage was introduced in Britain, bringing an instant pay rise to 1.9 million low-paid workers.
1 Apr 2021
20 March 1602: Dutch East India Company formed
This day in history

20 March 1602: Dutch East India Company formed

The Dutch East India Company – considered by many to be the world’s first multinational company – was founded on his day in 1602.
20 Mar 2021
27 February 1900: The launch of the Labour Party
This day in history

27 February 1900: The launch of the Labour Party

Responding to the need for a single political party to represent the trade unions, the Labour Party was formed on this day in 1900.
27 Feb 2021

Most Popular

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest
Small cap stocks

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest

We are living in strange times. But the basics of investing remain the same: buy fairly-priced stocks that can provide an income. And there are few be…
13 Sep 2021
Two shipping funds to buy for steady income
Investment trusts

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income

Returns from owning ships are volatile, but these two investment trusts are trying to make the sector less risky.
7 Sep 2021
How to stop recurring subscriptions becoming a drain on your money
Personal finance

How to stop recurring subscriptions becoming a drain on your money

Tracking and pruning subscriptions isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here's how to take charge.
14 Sep 2021