Croydon transmitting station

The Croydon transmitting station is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility on Beaulieu Heights[1] in Upper Norwood, London, England (grid reference TQ332696), in the London Borough of Croydon, owned by Arqiva. It was established in 1955 and initially used a small lattice tower. The present tower is 152 metres (499 ft) high and was built in 1962.

Croydon transmitting station (Greater London)
Tower height152 metres (499 ft)
Coordinates51.409722°N 0.085833°W / 51.409722; -0.085833
Grid referenceTQ332696
Built1955 (original tower)
1962 (current tower)
BBC regionBBC London (backup)
ITV regionITV London (backup)
Local TV serviceLondon Live (backup)

It was originally used to broadcast the London ITV signal on VHF Band III. When UHF broadcasting began, the nearby Crystal Palace transmitting station was used. VHF television was discontinued in 1985, and the Croydon transmitter was not used for regular TV broadcasting until 1997, when a new directional UHF antenna, designed to avoid interference with continental transmitters, was installed to carry the newly launched Channel 5 in the London area. It carried Channel 5's analogue signal, and the digital terrestrial signal is transmitted from Crystal Palace. Croydon also had reserve transmitters for BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4, but these were used only in the event of engineering works or a failure at Crystal Palace. Since the digital switchover in April 2012 no television has been broadcast from Croydon, but it is still used as a backup for Crystal Palace for the BBC A & B, Digital 3&4 and COM 4, 5 and 6 multiplexes.

The site is also a maintenance base for transmitter maintenance teams and used to house one of four Regional Operations Centres.

Channels listed by frequency

Croydon transmitter at sunset.

Analogue radio (FM VHF)

Frequency kW Service
94.9 MHz BBC Radio London
95.8 MHz 4 Capital London
97.3 MHz 4 LBC
100.0 MHz 4 Kiss
102.2 MHz 4 Smooth London
105.4 MHz 4 Magic
106.2 MHz 4 Heart London

† Backup for Crystal Palace.

Digital radio (DAB)

Frequency Block kW Operator
218.640 MHz 11B 2.5 DRG London
227.360 MHz 12C 5 CE London

22 September 1955 – 3 January 1985

The past ITV franchises which originally served London were Associated-Rediffusion (weekdays) and Associated Television (weekends) began transmitting on VHF 9 on 22 September 1955, and were the first ITV services. The transmitter's power was originally 60 kW but after the new tower was built in 1962 this was increased to 400 kW. Thames Television and London Weekend Television took over the London franchise area in 1968. The VHF analogue service closed down, along with the rest of the UK, on 3 January 1985.

Frequency VHF kW Service
194.75 MHz 9 400 Rediffusion/ATV (1955–1968)
Thames/LWT (1968–1985)

30 March 1997 – 18 April 2012

Channel 5 launched on 30 March 1997 with transmissions from Croydon and other former IBA VHF sites in the UK. Reserve senders for ITV and Channel 4 was later added in case they were not available from Crystal Palace and some time later, BBC1 and BBC2.

Frequency UHF kW Service
487.25 MHz 23 ITV London
543.25 MHz 30 Channel 4
599.25 MHz 37 1000 Channel 5

† Backup for Crystal Palace.

18 April 2012 – present

Since 18 April 2012, no television has been broadcast from Croydon. However, backup for the PSB1, 2 and 3 and COM4, 5 and 6 multiplexes are available should there be a problem at Crystal Palace.

Frequency UHF kW Service System
490.000 MHz 23 200 BBC A† DVB-T
514.000 MHz 26 200 Digital 3&4† DVB-T
545.833 MHz 30- 200 BBC B† DVB-T2

† Backup for Crystal Palace.

See also

  • Wrotham transmitting station, Brookmans Park transmitting station and Droitwich transmitting station – the main radio transmitters serving London on VHF, mediumwave and longwave respectively.
  • List of tallest towers in the world
  • List of tallest structures in the United Kingdom


  1. "TheBigTower Croydon Transmitter". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
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