At 177 metres high the BT Tower was the highest building in the UK when it was built in 1965. Originally designed to support the UK’s microwave network, today it plays an important role in UK communications.

So how do you get to the top of one of the UK’s tallest buildings? You use a high-speed lift travelling at seven metres a second that’s one of the fastest in Europe. Watch this episode of our ‘Secrets of the BT Tower’ series below to find out more:

[Read more: Secrets of the BT Tower - 14th floor]

When the Tower was originally built it was open to members of the public. Two high-speed lifts carried nearly one million people to the top during the first year the Tower was open, travelling 70,000km between them.

During the first year of opening 105,000 visitors went to dine in the revolving restaurant on the 34th floor. If you weren’t staying for dinner, the cost of getting to the top was 4 shillings (20p) for adults. 

The restaurant closed in 1980, but the Tower and the two current lifts are still busy carrying people to the top for events to support charities and inform people about BT.

The BT Tower has stairs – and hosts the occasional charity stair climb - but is the only building in the UK allowed to be evacuated by lift – a special Act of Parliament had to be introduced to allow it.

Watch other episodes in our ‘Secrets of the BT Tower’ series

Credit: BT Archives