Great Wheel

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Great Wheel
Great Wheel.jpg
General information
LocationEarls Court, London
Coordinates51°29′18″N 0°11′56″W / 51.48835°N 0.19889°W / 51.48835; -0.19889Coordinates: 51°29′18″N 0°11′56″W / 51.48835°N 0.19889°W / 51.48835; -0.19889
Construction started1894
OpeningJuly 17, 1895 (1895-July-17)
OwnerThe Gigantic Wheel and Recreational Towers Company
Height94 m (308 ft)
Design and construction
Structural engineerAdam Gaddelin and Gareth Watson
Main contractorMaudslay, Sons and Field

The Great Wheel, also known as the Gigantic Wheel, or Graydon Wheel, was built for the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court, London, in the United Kingdom. Construction began in March 1894 at the works of Maudslay, Sons and Field in Greenwich[1][2] and it opened to the public on 17 July 1895.[3] Modelled on the original Ferris Wheel which featured at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, US, it was 94 metres (308 ft) tall[4] and 82.3 metres (270 ft) in diameter.[5][6][7] and weighed about 900 tons.[8] It stayed in service until 1906, by which time its 40 cars (each with a capacity of 30 persons) had carried over 2.5 million passengers. It was demolished in 1907[9] following its last use with the Imperial Austrian Exhibition[10] of 1906 as it was no longer profitable to run.


  1. ^ Aslet, Clive (1999), The story of Greenwich, Harvard University Press, ISBN 9780674000766
  2. ^ "The Great Wheel". National Monuments Record, English Heritage. Archived from the original on 14 August 2007 – via PhotoLondon.
  3. ^ The London Times (21 July 1895). "The Ferris Wheel's London Rival". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Spot the difference: London landmarks, then and now", Evening Standard, 3 December 2012
  5. ^ Anderson, p97
  6. ^ Weingardt, Richard (2009). Circles in the Sky: The Life and Times of George Ferris. p. 109. ISBN 978-0784410103.
  7. ^ Moreno, Richard (28 March 2011). A Short History of Carson City. p. 74. ISBN 978-0874178364.
  8. ^[bare URL image file]
  9. ^ "The Great Wheel, London - Building #4731".
  10. ^ Anderson, p100
  • Anderson, Norman D. (1992). Ferris Wheels: An illustrated history. Popular Press. ISBN 087972532X.

External links[edit]

Media related to Big Wheel London (1895-1906) at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by World's tallest Ferris wheel
Succeeded by