There are some pretty giant buildings and structures in the world, from famous landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, the Shard, and of course, the beautiful Eiffel Tower – however, did you know Yorkshire has its very own landmark-worthy structures, too? One of which is the tallest of its kind in the world.
Wainhouse Tower in Halifax, Calderdale stands at 275 feet (84m) high, and it currently holds the title of the tallest structure in Calderdale, as well as the tallest folly in the world. It was built between 1871 and 1875, originally intended to be a chimney for John Edward Wainhouse’s dye-works. Completed on 9 September 1875, the architectural marvel cost £14,000 to build – a huge price tag during that time. Now, the folly is preserved by the local council and is open for the public to visit on Bank Holidays only.
There are two viewing platforms on the tower which provide some spectacular, panoramic sights of Yorkshire. To climb up to the first of the two viewing platforms, there are 369 steps. Quite the workout if you prefer sitting on the sofa with a brew. And if that had you feeling out of breath already, the second platform is 405 steps up – but fortunately for those who don’t want to do the mammoth climb, this one isn’t open for public viewing.
Before construction was finished on Wainhouse Tower, John Edward Wainhouse sold the mill, but kept the chimney to use as an observatory. Wainhouse had been in a feud with Henry Edwards, the owner of the neighbouring estate, for years over such things as water rights, nuisance smoke emissions, nuisance trees, blocked highways and the like – with some believing the feud got quite aggressive at times. Wainhouse was once asked if he had ever threatened to knock Henry’s brother’s teeth down his throat. “I have not” was the reply, “but I have no objection to try”.
The feud hints at the reason why Wainhouse Tower has its observatory points at the top, with Henry boasting how his private estate at Pye Nest could not be viewed from any house or the hills. Wainhouse is said to have remarked that he would rectify this by putting a viewing tower at the top of his chimney. Petty, but we love it.
Either way, we’re grateful for the pair’s quibble, as the views that the observatory points boast are out of this world. Find out more about visiting the tower here.