Emley Moor Tower: History behind the UK's tallest freestanding building, and how to visit

Emley Moor Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the UK, and 24th tallest in the world at over 1000 feet high.

Emley Moor trasmitting tower
Emley Moor trasmitting tower

The tower is officially known as ‘The Arqiva Tower’, named after the company which currently owns the mast.

Here's everything you need to know about the structure.

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What is Emley Moor Tower?

Emley Moor Tower is a transmitting station and telecommunications and broadcasting facility situated on Emley Moor, West Yorkshire The tower provides signal to two million TV aerials.

Emley Moor Tower has been labelled by many as an iconic structure in Yorkshire, due to the architecture and its 65-year history.

In 2002, the tower was classified as a Grade-II listed building by Historic England.

Emley Moor Tower is 330.4 m in height and is 20.8 m taller than The Shard, London, overtaking some of the UKs most well known landmarks in height.

Emley Moor Tower History

Emley Moor Tower has changed in shape and structure over the years, adapting to the ever changing technology of television broadcasting and now boasts supporting structures to allow for more dishes and aerials.

Emley Moor Tower was first built in 1956 as a lattice tower used to broadcast ITV across Yorkshire. The original tower only stood at 135 m tall.

The transmitting station was then replaced in 1964 by a guyed mast, standing 385.5 m tall.

Emley Moor Tower collapsed in 1969 after strong winds and a build up of ice on the mast brought the tower down.

The tower was then rebuilt and construction was completed in 1971 of the current Emley Moor Tower with added foundations that are 6 m into the ground.

Most recently, the tower has been sighted undergoing work to rebuild the transmitter with the help of a helicopter in June 2021.

How can I get to Emley Moor Tower?

Emley Moor Tower is located one mile away from the village centre of Emley, between Huddersfield and Wakefield.

Can I visit Emley Moor Tower?

The tower stands on Emley Moor and can be easily seen from afar and the general public can access the outside area of the tower for up close views.

However, the tower is not open to the public for viewings inside the mast.