Time Travel London: Watkin's Folly Towers Over Wembley

By M@ Last edited 19 months ago
Time Travel London: Watkin's Folly Towers Over Wembley

Did you know that London almost had its own, taller version of the Eiffel Tower? The structure that would become known as Watkin's Folly began to rise in 1892, under the direction of railway magnate Sir Edward Watkin.

Had it reached its full height of 358 metres, the tower would have been the tallest man-made structure in the world, and would today surpass the 312 metre Shard.

Alas, it was not to be. After hitting financial difficulties, the tower stalled at 47 metres and was demolished in 1907. Wembley stadium was later built on the site.

Mike Paterson of London Historians here imagines an alternative reality, in which the tower was completed alongside the modern stadium.

This is part of our series of images merging different periods in London's history.

Last Updated 17 October 2016


If i were being really, really picky, I would point out that the tower stood right over the top of the football pitch -- in fact they found bits of the foundations under the pitch when rebuilding the stadium.

Pete Stean

Given the footprint of a tower that size could they have laid the pitch between its legs I wonder?


Definitely.. land been put to much better use!