Last edited 15 Dec 2020

Emley Moor transmitting station


Emley Moor transmitting station, officially known as The Arqiva Tower, is a telecommunications and broadcasting facility on Emley Moor, in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

With a height of 330.4 m (1,084 ft), it is the tallest freestanding structure in the UK, the seventh tallest in the European Union, and the 24th tallest tower in the world. It is 20.8 m taller than The Shard, which is popularly thought to be the tallest structure in the UK.

Designed by Arup, the structure consists of a tapered cylindrical pillar of reinforced concrete, topped by a steel lattice mast carrying 55 m (180 ft) tall antennas.

The current tower is the third such structure to have occupied the site. The original lattice tower was built in 1956 and measured 135 m (443 ft) tall. It was used to broadcast ITV to the Yorkshire area. In 1964, it was replaced by a guyed mast measuring 385.5 m (1,265 ft).

In March 1969, the structure collapsed as a result of strong winds and the weight of ice that had formed around the top of the mast and on the guy wires. The subsequent committee of inquiry blamed the collapse on a form of oscillation which occurred at a low but steady wind speed.

The construction of the current tower was begun in 1969 and was completed in 1971. It is built on foundations which extend 6 m (20 ft) into the ground. A control room at 274 m (900 ft) can be reached by a lift that takes around 7 minutes to ascend.

In 2002, English Heritage (now Historic England) granted the tower Grade II listed building status due to its ‘significant architectural or historic interest’.

In recent years, the tower has had supporting structures attached to accommodate more dishes and aerials, reflecting the changing nature of communications and technology.


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