What's The Tallest Building In Your Borough?

M@
By M@

Last Updated 08 July 2024

What's The Tallest Building In Your Borough?
A rather excellent pair of people have their backs to us, but gaze out onto a city skyline at dusk

What's the tallest structure in your borough? We've crunched the numbers.

If you live in Southwark, you can probably guess at the tallest building (the Shard). But what of the other boroughs?

The answers are often surprising. Not every borough is dominated by high-rise glass and steel apartment blocks or commercial towers. In some regions, churches, communication masts and a stadium win the crown.

Here, we break down the tallest building in all 33 local authorities (32 boroughs plus the City of London) as of July 2024. This is an update on previous versions of this article published in 2017 and 2022. The tallest buildings in 14 boroughs have changed since we first compiled the list.

A graph showing maximum height in each London borugh
The tallest building in each London borough, Jul 2024

Barking and Dagenham

360 Degrees Barking: This curvaceous residential tower recently stole the title of Barking's tallest from the memorably named Lemonade Building. It stands 85 metres.

Barnet

Hendon Waterside
Image: Matt Brown

Hendon Waterside: The Vista (also known as Hawfinch House) is the tallest block in this 2016-completed residential development, overlooking the Welsh Harp reservoir. Also at 85 metres, the tower supplants the 54 metre St Jude-on-the-Hill as the borough's tallest.

Bexley

Marlowe House: This 56 metre tower block near Sidcup station dates from 1966. Quite remarkable that nothing has topped it in almost 60 years.

Brent

Wembley arch
Image: Matt Brown

Wembley Stadium: The famous arch dominates the skyline of north-west London, and it's no surprise to find it's the tallest structure in Brent at 133 metres. You could stack three Emirates Stadiums in the same height. Had history played out a little differently, the world's tallest building might have stood on the same site, in the form of the 358 metre Watkin's Tower. Give it a couple of years, mind, and a couple of planned residential towers may overtake the arch.

Bromley

Image: Matt Brown

Crystal Palace Transmitter: Who'd have guessed that the Borough of Bromley plays host to one of London's top 10 tallest structures? The 1950's telecommunications mast stands 222 metres, and is just inside the borough boundary.

Camden

BT Tower, Fitzrovia, London

The BT Tower: Formerly the Post Office Tower, and soon to get another name, we presume, this iconic peak of Fitzrovia reaches 177 metres or 190 metres if you include the antennae — much taller than anything nearby.

City of London

A huge glass tower disappears into the clouds. The silhouette of a plane can be seen nearby

22 Bishopsgate: The highest roof in the Square Mile changes with some regularity. Not so long ago, the NatWest Tower (now Tower 42) easily won the crown at 183 metres. This is now surpassed by several other buildings, the tallest of which is the bulky 22 Bishopsgate. At 278 metres, it is the second tallest structure in London, beaten only by the Shard.

Croydon

Croydon Transmitter: You probably know it as 'the other big mast thing at Crystal Palace' but this telecommunication tower actually stands on Beulah Hill in the London Borough of Croydon. At 153 metres, it's a fair bit smaller than its more famous sibling (222m). A proposed residential tower of 228 metres, known as One Lansdowne, would steal the crown if ever built.

Ealing

Portal West tower
Image: Matt Brown

One West Point: The tallest tower of the Portal West development in North Acton reaches 184 metres. It's close to North Acton station, and overlooks the Old Oak Common HS2 site. It is one of the tallest residential tower in London outside of the Canary Wharf cluster.

Enfield

Edmonton Refuse Incinerator: Enfield's peak is an industrial building, completed in 1971. The chimney stretches 100 metres into the sky. This is likely to be beaten soon, with the tallest tower in Edmonton's Meridian Water development set to reach 122m.

Greenwich

Greenwich peninsula
Image: Matt Brown

Upper Riverside, building 5: Greenwich Peninsula is a hive of construction at the moment, with medium-tall towers springing up at a rate to compete with Stratford. The current tallest (by a whisker) is the 102 metre southern-most tower of the Upper Riverside complex — which has a very different aspect depending on whether you're viewing from the peninsula or the river (or cable car).

Greenwich Peninsula from cable car
Image: Matt Brown

Hackney

Principal Tower, Hackney
Image: Matt Brown

The Norman-Foster-designed Principal Tower sits just within the Hackney border, overlooking the City of London. It climbs 161 metres, the tallest in a rash of recent towers on the northern City fringes.

Hammersmith and Fulham

A tall, orange and grey wedge-shaped building under construction against a grey sky
Image: Matt Brown

Imperial West Tower: This distinctive building, owned by Imperial College, has a profile not unlike the City's Cheesegrater building. At 139 metres, it recently overtook Earl's Court's Empress State Building as the borough's tallest.

Haringey

Anthology Hale Works
Image: Matt Brown

Anthology Hale Works: For decades, the mast of Alexander Palace crowned the borough at 67 metres. It's now been overtaken by a suite of new towers in the Tottenham Hale development area. The current tallest is the 107 metre Anthology tower, though this is likely to be bested by a 137 metre tower in the near future.

Harrow

Harrow Square: Harrow's been known for centuries for its mighty church steeple, visible for miles around on top of the hill. When it comes to truly tall buildings, without a geological leg-up, though, the borough has largely resisted the trend. One exception is the 2019 Harrow Square development, whose mightiest peak seems to be 134 metres (the developers had permission to build this tall, but whether that is the final height is difficult to ascertain). The tower beats the old Kodak chimney at Harrow & Wealdstone, which was the top peak in the borough for decades at a mere 57 metres.

Havering

Mercury House: This rather squat looking commercial office building in Romford stands 57 metres tall.

Hillingdon

Heathrow Control Tower: Completed in 2005, this distinctive control tower dominates the skyline of the otherwise flat borough at 87 metres tall. A much smaller version can be found in the Wetherspoon's in Terminal 2.

Hounslow

The Tower at GWQ: Hounslow's tallest is the 75 metre residential tower on the northern edge of Brentford — an area recently dubbed the Great West Quarter (hence the tower name). It is also known as Kew Eye Apartments, presumably because Kew (across the river) sounds fancier than Brentford.

Islington

120 City Road
Image: Matt Brown

Carrara Tower at 250 City Road: One of a series of new towers along this street, the Carrara completed in 2020 and stands 150 metres.

Kensington and Chelsea

Trellick Tower
Image: Matt Brown

Trellick Tower: The brutalist icon was completed in 1972 and remains the tallest building in the borough at 98 metres.

Kingston upon Thames

Tolworth Tower: This much maligned 1964 commercial building totally dominates the skyline in these parts — there's nothing nearly as big as this 81 metre beast for miles. Unusually, the borough's 12 tallest buildings were all completed in the 60s and 70s.

Lambeth

St George Wharf Tower
St George, when it was all alone on the Nine Elms skyline. Image: Matt Brown

The first of many tall residential buildings to go up in the Nine Elms area, St George Wharf Tower clocks in at 181 metres. It is right on the edge of the borough, and stands right next to Wandsworth's tallest (see below).

Lewisham

The Connington Road tower
Image: Mortadella42, creative commons

Connington Road: Lewisham has a new entry since we last updated this list in 2022. The Connington residential tower stands 117 metres tall, edging out its fellow newbuild of Lewisham Exchange (105m).  

Merton

Britannia Point: The borough of Merton doesn't contain many high buildings. It's tallest at 54 metres, next to Colliers Wood tube station, is somewhat notorious though, thanks to its bleak concrete facade. The despised building recently underwent a makeover (above, in progress) and is now mostly harmless. If you want to know the next tallest buildings, then the Wimbledon Times recently published a handy ranking.

Newham

At dusk, a huge dark tower rises into the sky with several windows illuminated. A chunk seems to be missing from near the top, part of the design
Image: Matt Brown

Manhattan Loft Gardens: It's not in Manhattan — that's the developer's name — but this peculiar tower does contain pleasant gardens and loft apartments. The 143 metre residential 'scraper is noteworthy for having a huge chunk of its trunk missing (by design). From some angles, the effect is near miraculous. The tower recently stole the title of Newham's tallest from the curvy Halo building on Stratford High Street, which is 133 metres.

Redbridge

Two modern residential towers, with blue-ish glass facades.
Image: Matt Brown

Pioneer Point: This 105 metre residential skyscraper dominates the skies of North Ilford and is visible for miles around. It is unusually tall for a building in outer London and stands beside another residential tower that, at 82 metres, would tip the scales in many other boroughs. It's not the last word, either. An even taller tower, Chapel Place, has gained planning consent in Ilford. If built, it would stand as tall as 125 metres.

Richmond upon Thames

St Matthias' Church: One of two boroughs whose tallest buildings are churches. St Matthias can be found in central Richmond with a spire that climbs 61 metres. Incidentally, the Pagoda in Kew Gardens is the borough's second tallest building, which shows what a low-rise part of town Richmond is.

Southwark

Sunset over the River Thames. A pleasure boat is in the foreground, while Tower Bridge and the Shard are in the distance
Image: Matt Brown

The Shard: At almost 310 metres, the Shard is not only the tallest building in Southwark, but also the loftiest in the whole of western Europe (we can't say the EU these days). Surprisingly, though, there are taller structures elsewhere in the UK.

Sutton

Quadrant House: The otherwise unremarkable office block beside Sutton station was completed in 1980, as you might guess from the brown colour. It's 76 metres.

Tower Hamlets

Image: Matt Brown

One Canada Square: The pyramid-topped skyscraper at Canary Wharf was the tallest in London from 1991 until 2012, when it was overtaken by the Shard. It stands 235 metres. From some views, it's hard to believe, but this building is still ever-so-slightly taller than its immediate neighbours.

Waltham Forest

The Mall housing development
Artist's rendering

The Mall: This brand new development over the 17&Central shopping mall is easily the tallest in the borough at 137 metres (its neighbour is also a tall 'un, at 111m). It isn't quite complete at time of writing, but has reached its maximum height. The previous record holder was the Northwood Tower at a paltry 57 metres.

Wandsworth

One Nine Elms in Nine Elms
One Nine Elms. Image: Matt Brown

One Nine Elms: The skyline of Nine Elms seems to change every time we glance over. The current tallest building is One Nine Elms, whose tallest tower reaches a whopping (for residential) 199 metres. It is just within the boundary of Wandsworth. St George Wharf Tower (in the background of our photo) is on the other side of the border, and the tallest in Lambeth.

Westminster

Millbank Tower
Image: Matt Brown

Millbank Tower: This 1960s behemoth dominates the skyline between Tate Britain and the Houses of Parliament. In its time, this was one of the tallest structures in London. At the time of writing, it's the 87th at 119 metres. It might one day be superseded by the 140 metre 1 Merchant Square in Paddington, should the much-delayed scheme ever be built.


Sources: Most of the early information comes from the Emporis website, which handily lists the tallest structures in most of the boroughs (sadly, the site has now closed). A list of tall buildings on Wikipedia was also useful for ranking heights across boroughs. Our list incorporates both buildings and more general structures like communication masts.

All images by the author unless otherwise noted.