THE EIFFEL TOWER is one of the most famous monuments in the world, visited by millions of people who visit Paris.
However, did you know that the UK almost has its own Eiffel Tower?
Modeled after the French monument, the Great Tower of London was designed by Edward Watkins, a railway entrepreneur known for the expansion of the Metropolitan Railway which is part of the London Underground.
The line passed through Wembley, where he wanted to create a huge amusement park that would resemble 19th-century amusement parks like Battersea Park in London or Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen,” according to Victorian architecture expert Christopher Costelloe.
This would include the tower designed to resemble the Eiffel Tower.
Watkins asked Gustave Eiffel to design it – who refused – and so set up an international design competition where the winner would get £60,000 worth of today’s money.
The winner was ultimately a “slender version of the Eiffel Tower” just taller and with eight feet instead of four, and would have restaurants, shops, a 90-room hotel, theaters and dance halls, and a garden of ‘winter.
An electric lift would take guests to the top with an observation deck.
The Great Tower of London is said to be 1,200ft – taller than the 1,063ft Eiffel Tower, as well as the Shard (1,016ft).
While construction began in 1892, just three years after the Eiffel Tower opened, it took another three years to create the first floor which was 154 feet tall.
That’s when they realized it was sagging – meaning they couldn’t build any higher as it was slowly sinking into the ground.
While guests could climb the first part of the tower, with an elevator and entrance built, the rest of the tower was never built after Watkin’s death in 1901.
Nicknamed the London Stump, it was demolished a few years later and destroyed with dynamite.
However, the rest of the park was still popular, with thousands of people still visiting for activities such as football, cricket and rowing, as well as ice skating in the winter.
Several years later, the ground is now home to Wembley Stadium.
It’s not the only attraction that failed to launch with a number of ambitious theme parks that never came to fruition.
Although Battersea Power Station is now a large residential and commercial complex, there were once plans to turn it into a huge theme park.
There was also a Six Flags Dubai that was scrapped, as well as a land at Disney World called Beastly Kingdom.
Theme park rides that were never built include Batman vs. The Penguin at Universal and a space jetpack ride at Disney World.