The BT Tower has dominated the London skyline for well over 50 years and is without a doubt one of the most famous buildings in the UK.
It was officially opened to the public on May 19, 1966 by Tony Benn and Billy Butlin, the document below showing their signatures from is from BT Archives.
The restaurant shut in 1980 (although the floor still revolves) and the top of the Tower is now closed to the public. For our ‘Secrets of the BT Tower’ series we got exclusive access to the outside of the building - which is even higher than the 34th floor - so you can experience London from the top of the BT Tower with our video.
Today the BT Tower is used as an event venue to inform and educate customers about BT and to support charities and good causes - including the occasional race up its 842 steps to raise money for charity.
For nearly 20 years, and despite being the tallest building in London (until the NatWest Tower was built in 1980) and visible from miles around, the 177-metre tower was classified as an official secret because of the role it played in UK communications. In 1993 MP Kate Hoey used parliamentary privilege to confirm its existence in the Houses of Parliament.
Watch other episodes in our ‘Secrets of the BT Tower’ series
- Secrets of the BT Tower: The lift
- Secrets of the BT Tower: 14th floor
- Secrets of the BT Tower: BT Sport
- Secrets of the BT Tower: Broadcasting
- Secrets of the BT Tower: Construction
- Secrets of the BT Tower: Television
- Secrets of the BT Tower: View from the top