Battersea Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station located on the south bank of the River Thames, in Battersea, an inner-city district of South West London. It comprises two individual power stations, built in two stages in the form of a single building. Battersea A Power Station was built in the 1930s, with Battersea B Power Station to its east in the 1950s. The two stations were built to an identical design, providing the well known four-chimney layout. The station ceased generating electricity in 1983, but over the past 50 years it has become one of the best known landmarks in London and is Grade II* listed.
Now, Battersea. It’s partly the fault of this massive structure that I got into the whole exploring malarky in the first place. There it stands, firmly in central London, and is one of the most iconic sites within the city, and indeed the UK. I’m not sure why I had never attempted it before now, having even had offers to be shown in etc. I’ll never understand why, but all I knew, is that I wasn’t going to let it slip by without being ticked off the ‘list’.
I know this place has been bumped to the top of the tourist bus destinations list in the past month or so, but that still didn’t mean it wasn’t as desirable as it was before, and well worth the trips in. Even if every other photographer/explorer/urbexor/Joe Bloggs within a 100 mile radius had been in, it wouldn’t make a difference to me. I wanted this, and am extremely happy with the outcome.
I owe a huge thanks to many people for making this such an enjoyable place to explore, but in particular the couple who made a nice, quick and easy entrance into ‘B’ side, forming the first part of my experience of Battersea.
After getting us all up to ‘A’ side roof, using the most awkward, filthy and sketchy route, we were rather dismayed at first, when four more arrived, using the most simple easy route up. But, I guess that’s what makes it so much fun. Nothing like the feeling of satisfaction of achieving something you’d heard people had been getting stumped on. That is, of course, until you realise you could have saved a lot of time and effort.
I am in no way saying that my selection of photos do it justice, but it shows the power station, as I see it. I mean, we all interpret places in different ways right?
These photos were taken over multiple visits, with very little sleep and a lot of coffee from various service stations…
‘A’ side control room:
‘B’ side control room:
On the roof:
Other generic photos:
Shortly after these photos were taken, work finally began on redeveloping the site. It’s been a long time coming and even now at time of writing this paragraph (2019) completion is a long way off. Included in this is an extension to the Northern line to eventually be able to allow access through a new Battersea Power Station tube station. The new buyer of the site was required to contribute £100 million towards this extension, as well as £325 million to cover debts still owed by previous bidders for the site. Works are expected to be completed by the end of 2020, including the completion of the Northern Line extension which will also allow for greater access to the Nine Elms area in general.