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GES097 - Hyde Park Barracks (Tower)

Details on this 94m 33 storey beast here

As an appreciator of tall buildings, when I played football in the park numerous times, i'd always look up at this tower and thought what amazing views there must be from the top. The fact it was full of 'Our brave boys' (TM The Sun) or the Army in regular speak, was certainly off putting to any attempt on it. Move forward a few years, and the Army are keen to make cash, and the barracks appear to have been emptied. A number of times I'd walked past to see no activity other than a security chap watching the many cameras that surround the site. As normally happens, I was climbing another building, and I looked back in this direction to spot a tower sheaved in scaffold. On closer inspection it turned out to be the barracks tower. It was now defo on the list. I passed it around my usual co-horts, and GE077 took the bait. In the pic below he packs away his stuff after climbing down.

Getting in was going to prove to be a tricky matter, as it's MoD property, As I walked by the morning before the ascent, I got the distinct feeling we weren't going to be welcome. The reams of spirally razor wheels, cameras and  a ring of motion alarms just made me feel we'd be really unwelcome. However after studying the angles of the cameras and a few other tangents, I thought I had a way in.

We had a busy night, as we reccied a few things and including a ghost tube station that had yet to be done (although it was not long after we climbed this tower, shucks.) I parked my trusty steed up nearby,and GE077 hopped off. A cop was stood at a bus stop, looking across at the building. This didn't look good. However a bus turned up as we approached and he got on. Phew! It was then into the shadows of the park. I talked over the access point with GE077 and we were both agreed this was the way in. And so after two chaps had walked off, I went for the very narrow gap in the towers armour. I was a lot more nervous than other scaffed buildings i'd climbed, the opportunity to look down the barrel of one of our brave boys (TM The Mirror) was not lost on me. I got in and checked around. All seemed good, and I beckoned for GE077. Both in it was monkey like display and we were onto the bottom of the stairs. From here, the only way was up. It was nerve wracking passing windows we didn't know who if anyone was behind. After the first few floors one quickly lost the fear of seeing someone's face looking back from inside. Just shy of the top, the last 3 floors were all ladders on rickety looking scaffold. I was glad to get on the top of the building. With dawn fast approaching, I fire off a few shots. Looking East. The S***d sticks up through the London Eye. The City triplets (Heron, T42 and Gherkin) left of centre, and the H P Hilton on the far Left.

Looking south over sleepy Brompton and Knightsbridge.

On the very top of the building, two twits doing some posing between what might appear to be top secret oriels, but are probably just for getting Graham Norton on the telly.

The sky lightening up, as the Serpentine becomes visible within H P. Looking down on the vehicle park and parade ground area of the barracks.

The sort of view (obviously from lower down) i'd hoped to get from the roof of the French Embassy. But did not. Looking across H P and in the distance Soho and BT Tower.

Looking out West along Kensington Rd and South Carriage Drive within the park. The pitches where I play football in the dark on the lower right of the photo in the park.

Looking right across the park, something I never thought I'd get to see. Great views as the light changes.

Zoomed shot of West London, the roof of the Royal Albert Hall on the left, the Albert Memorial on the right.

Carefully looking over East, not wanting to be spotted as the darkness lifts. The ridiculously tall S****d skyscraper just dominates the whole skyline. It's over 3 times taller than this building. Crazy!

Greenery adding colour to the pictures of the park

Montpelier Sq centre foreground and the posh shops of Brompton along the centre of the picture.

A first glimpse of dawn breaking over the City

A bit higher.

A full wide 11mm shot with the dawn sun sat above the City triplets.

Zoom shot of old favourite GES002, Battersea Station.

I love the way the taller buildings pick up the light first, and stand out above the darker lower buildings around them.

The barracks and brand new development, 1 H Park's 3 towers. One of which just became one of the UK's most expensive penthouses.

The Brompton Oratory in the bottom right, and wedding cake like tower on top of the V&A building.on the right. Another previous explore, Lots Rd Station dominates the horizon with it's chimneys.

Brompton, the Oratory on the centre right.

The greenery of the park and Serpentine bridge.



Looking over Chelsea to BPS on the horizon.

The pipe ninja surveys the park.


The glass like quality of the Serpentine sucking up the dawn light

A full wide of the park looking North.


North West of the tower, up the Long Water through the park

GE077 on top of the tower looking East.

The various aerials on top of the roof. Note the rings sunk into the floor in a strip along the centre of the photo. I got the distinct feeling they were for abseiling purposes.

Looking under the odd central section of the roof.

And if the above pictures weren't horrible enough, some HDR nastiness to end on.

gt;And with that we set off on the long descent. All had gone really well, but just as we were in the monkey bars section of exiting, a chap walked by swinging a sainsburys carrier bag. Somewhat stunned, I froze, as he was looking right at me. As he passed a pillar i crouched, still expecting him to come over. However he just went about his merry way. One of the most bizarre things ever, and thank the lord it happened. The consequences could have been rather serious.



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