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!

Electricity Substation Sunnyside Passage Wimbledon | Look Up London

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.

Electricity Substation Sunnyside Passage Wimbledon | Look Up London

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.

Electricity Substation Sunnyside Passage Wimbledon | Look Up London

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.

Electricity Substation Sunnyside Passage Wimbledon | Look Up London

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.

Electricity Substation Sunnyside Passage Wimbledon | Look Up London

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!

Electricity Substation Sunnyside Passage Wimbledon | Look Up London

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3 Comments

  • Jacky Schloss

    Reply

    Thanks for making a recommendation list for the extended openhouse viewings this year. I always find the book and website overehelming so its great to have some help with choices. I hope you are keeping well. Jacky S

    August 18, 2021 at 8:36 am
  • Andrew Shufflebotham

    Reply

    Hey Katie,

    The substation has been taken away today to be restored, due to be returned in three months time. Should look very smart once done.

    Thought you might like to know.

    Andrew

    January 13, 2022 at 5:54 pm

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