Friday 6 January 2012

Former New Brighton Tower, Wallasey, Merseyside, UK Built by Andrew Handyside in 1896 (now Demolished).

NOTE : This no longer exists! It was completely demolished in 1919.

Update : October 2022, Darren of the YouTube channel AdventureMe has made a really interesting and details video about this wonderful structure, highly recommend you watch it :

You may have seen this on Episode 7 of the BBC2 TV Series "Britain's First Photo Album - Liverpool to Blackpool" shown on Tuesday 20th March 2012.

Did you know that Andrew Handyside who made Friar Gate bridge in Derby also made the Structural steelwork and cast-ironwork for many buildings around the world and they were made right here in Derby at the Britannia Ironworks.

The New Brighton Tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower (Paris, 1889) and built as the centre of a popular amusement park and pleasure garden. Located near Liverpool in Wallasey, Merseyside.

At the time, this was the highest structure in England !

It was begun in 1896, finished about 1900 at a cost of £120,000. The architects were Maxwell and Turk of Manchester

According to my 1904 guide published by Andrew Handyside the tower was 574 Foot high (From the ground to the top of the Cooper Ball on the flag-staff) and the base was 143 foot wide.

The weight of Steel used in the Tower is 1,760 Tons
The weight of Steel in the buildings surrounding the tower is 650 Tons.
Handyside designed it with an octagonal cross-sectional design unlike the simple square plan used on Blackpool Tower (518 feet, built 1894).

In the building which surrounded the base of the tower was a ballroom and other popular assembly spaces.

The tower had four lifts to take sightseers to the top of the structure at a cost of 6d.
From there you could see for miles around including the Isle of Man, part of the Lake District and the Welsh Mountains. The Tower attracted a half a million people in its opening year.
During the first world war the steel structure was neglected and became rusty through lack of maintenance and the cost of renovating was more than the owner could afford.

The top portion of the structure commenced to be dismantled on 7th May 1919 and was completed by June 1921 (see the photographs below)
The brick portion comprising of the Ballroom and Theatre remained, together with the turrets. During the Second World War the basement was used as a communal air-raid shelter.
The remaining parts of the surrounding buildings were destroyed by fire in 1969, the entire area was redeveloped as River View Park. Nothing remains of this site.

Photographs of this Victorian Tower built by Andrew Handyside.

new brighton tower - tallest building in england in 1897
Photograph by Noctorum.

Photograph by Andrew Handyside at the time of construction of the lower section of the tower from 1897 :

1912 Souvenir Guide for the New Brighton Tower and Amusement Park.
New Brighton Tower Guide page 1
Photograph by Noctorum.

New Brighton Tower Guide Cover.
New Brighton Tower Guide
Photograph by Noctorum.

Photograph showing the tower during its demolition 1919-1921.
New Brighton Tower Wallasey, dismantled between 1919-1921-03
Photograph by Les Ward.

A video "Wallasey - New Brighton Tower's Rise & Fall"
From 1897 to 1969, when the Tower met its final demise. This short pictoral history video captures what has gone and in many ways been forgotten.

Video by Parapiranha.

Learn more about New Brighton Tower here :

My Reference :
Page 38 of Steel & Iron Structures Made and erected by Andrew Handyside & Co Ltd of Derby and London. Published 1904.

Map Location:
View my Andrew Handyside World Map to see the original exact location of this tower on my world map.
My world map is the result of hundreds of hours of research into the company, plotting out each item as I find it.

Can you help find more Andrew Handyside stuff ?
If anyone out there knows of any other items around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.



  1. Hi Andy

    In Derek Palmer’s book “The Demolition of Derby” he mentions (on the page showing the Handyside foundry) that they built Blackpool Tower. I’ve not seen any other evidence of this claim, but it may be that someone was mistaking Blackpool Tower for the New Brighton Tower? Location, style and era were all similar

    1. Hi Rob, I think Derek probably got mixed up with New Brighton Tower. I have no record of Handyside having anything to do with Blackpool tower.