Battersea Power Station. London landmark and industrial heritage icon.

From the 1930’s through until the 1980’s, a working power station. Battersea Power station was a living, growing thing. Established in the 1930’s and expanding through the decades. At it’s peak, producing a fifth of London’s power supply.

The vast brick structure has powered London, supplying landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. The chimneys acted as a navigation aid for RAF pilots and the Luftwaffe allowing it to escape extensive bombing. It’s appeared on the big screen and made the cover of a Pink Floyd album.

In 1983, the power station fell silent. Electricity production ceased, the building closed.

After some derelict decades, there’s a buzz about the place once again. This time, created by leisure rather than industry. Battersea Power Station is now a place to shop, eat and explore.

Battersea Power Station: Past & Present

Battersea Power Station was Grade  II listed for architectural and historic interest, meaning when it was reinvented for a new generation it was done with a careful hand. The result is a fascinating mix of original heritage and reimagining.

Turbine Hall A has been restored to all its Art Deco glory. Incredible that something built for industrial purposes was designed to be so beautiful. A Greek key pattern, part of the original hall, has been included in the modern design.

Turbine Hall B by contrast, speaks to 1950’s design. Not quite so beautiful, but still impressive in scale and style.

In both halls, old gantry cranes and rails remain. The footprint of the old turbines are picked out in brickwork on the floor. There are reminders everywhere of where you are and what it was all about.

Elsewhere, old brick walls are exposed from floor to ceiling. It shows the scale of the place, but more than that. Evidence of old staircases, touches of old tiling and all the knocks and scars. Tiny parts of the Power Station’s own history.

History aside, if shopping is your thing you’ll be well served here. Everything is covered; fashion, high end beauty, homewares, even a Lego store complete with a Lego Battersea Power Station. What’s a bit of London shopping without a trip to a Lego store?

There’s also plenty of places to eat, drink, play or relax. A cinema, crazy golf, a ping pong experience. Oh, and a fun elevator experience. Lift 109.

Lift 109

When Battersea Power Station was restored, the biggest challenge was presented by the chimneys. With a Dangerous Structures Notice slapped on them, they stood too iconic to demolish yet unsafe to stand.

The solution? A team was pulled together with Historic England at the helm to dismantle the original chimneys and rebuild them precisely, using the original plans.

When you’ve gone to that much trouble , you’ve got to make something of it, right?

The ‘something’ in this case is Lift 109; a glass elevator that ascends the north west chimney, offering visitors panoramic views across London.

The Lift 109 experience begins in Turbine Hall A, where you’ll be greeted and allowed some time to explore a small collection of original records and multimedia displays exploring the building’s past.

Next, the Infinity room. An immersive experience of light and sound that tells the story of the power station in more detail. Then, the main event. Lift 109.

More light and sound effects accompany the exhilarating ascent 109m up to the viewing platform. From here, a full view of London laid out before you and a unique opportunity to look down on Battersea Power Station itself.

In a bit of a blogger fail moment, I didn’t get that many pictures from the top. I was caught in the moment. The views are best experienced first hand anyway, this fabulous experience is one I highly recommend putting on your London list.

I did put together an Instagram reel of our experience though. I hope you enjoy it. If you’re not following me on the ‘gram over at @thingsheleloves, come on over. I’d love to have you.

Helen x

30 thoughts

  1. Thank you for sharing the photos you did. It was really interesting to see the building close up. I didnt know it was converted into shops etc, but its definitely good to see how these historic landmarks can be preserved and still serve a purpose

  2. We’ve been meaning to visit ever since it opened but so far haven’t got around to it, so thank you for the virtual preview 🙂 I’m even more determined to go now!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s fabulous, I hope you make it for a visit soon 😊

  3. One I’d really love to see if I found myself in London, Helen. Not terribly likely but you never know 🤗🩵

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      If you ever are, it’s worth a visit. And if not, I’m glad to have shared it with you.

  4. When I was a child, Battersea Power Station was something we could see directly from our 5th floor flat in Victoria. You have reminded me that I haven’t seen it since it re-invented itself.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Time for a look at the new Battersea, Margaret? I used to visit my Dad when he worked in that part of London and recalled Battersea being a hulking and slightly intimidating building. It was fun to revisit the area, although I didn’t really recognise anything!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Sheree.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s a great day out Anabel, one for the list if you’re ever down this way.

  5. A splendid tour of Battersea Power Station and Lift 109. Hopefully I’ll get there one of these days too.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I hope you do Marion, it’s a great day out 😊

  6. Wow! So glad that it has been preserved and now has a new life and purpose, as well as all that amazing heritage for all to see. Great photos. Is Battersea Dogs Home quite nearby? X

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Yes, the dogs home is just round the corner and they have a cafe there but we timed out to visit. I’d love to pop my head in if I’m back that way.

  7. I can’t wait to visit, it looks incredibly well restored. I’ve wanted to go for months but just can’t seem to find a free day!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      So many places, so little time! Worth a look if you find yourself London bound, it’s fabulous!

  8. Your photos are fantastic, Helen, and I am glad to see that Battersea Power Station has been brought back to life. I love its interior and how you can still feel the atmosphere of the old power station and its ancient times. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Aiva, I think the company who converted the old place have gotten it just right!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Anita, appreciate it.

  9. Louise Jayne says:

    It looks great. I like what they’ve done with the place!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It has been thoughtfully done, in keeping with the history and character. I was impressed!

  10. something new to put on my London list:)

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      yes, definitely! I want to go back and see the place all decorated for Christmas. I believe there will be a skating rink there too. London at Christmas is magical.

  11. Mari Nicholson says:

    Been meaning to go for years as it was one of the first things I was impressed with when I first arrived in London to work, there being no skyscrapers then! Now I feel I know so much about it I need not make the journey back there, but I suspect I will, just as soon as I can reduce my basket list of things to do in London when I’m next there.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      There’s always so much to see and do in London. Battersea is definitely worthy of a place on the list I think!

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