The Victorian Electricity Substation on Sunnyside Passage, Wimbledon
Along the wonderfully named Sunnyside Passage in Wimbledon you’ll find this curious structure at the top of the hill. It’s a Victorian Electricity Substation!
It’s probably the weirdest bit of London street furniture I’ve spotted and with good reason – it’s extremely rare!
This particularly fancy Electricity Substation is grade II listed, dating from the late 19th century.
You can find plenty of these substations across the capital. A quirky one that immediately springs to mind is the raised Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair, complete with domes either side. Read more about it and other unusual green spaces here.
But this looked more like a fancy post box.
Essentially it’s a transformer, converting the high voltage power generated from a local power station into a power source more suitable for domestic use.
Examining the outside for clues revealed the name of the manufacturer; The British Electric Transformers Company Hayes Middlesex.
According to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History, in 1898 Mr Arthur Berry was the Managing Engineer and by 1903 they had become a public company.
The doors are locked but you can see pictures inside from the restoration by Heritage of London Trust. They report that the transformer equipment inside dates from 1875.
So there you have it, a wonderful and rare little curiosity in SW19!
MORE LONDON INSPIRATION
In Devonshire Square, a fairly uninspiring square by Liverpool Street Station, you can uncover some remarkable layers of London history - stretching right back to the 16th century!...
If you’ve walked along the Strand recently, there’s been a wonderful improvement. The surrounding area of St Mary Le Strand has been pedestrianised and this 300 year-old church can be fully appreciated. I was recently invited to have a look inside (and go behind-the-scenes!) of......