Cromwell Tower in the Barbican Estate


Front page of the City’s brochure for letting the flats when they were first built

Building completed

January 1973. Cromwell Tower was part of Phase III of the City’s building programme for the Barbican site. The contractor was John Laing Construction Limited.


The junction of Beech Street and Silk Street, near to the Arts Centre. It is the eastern-most of the three original Barbican Towers (the one nearest to Moorgate). At podium level it is close to the Conservatory.


Cromwell Tower is 43 storeys high (garage level, street foyer level, 38 storeys of flats and 2 of penthouses).


Cromwell Tower contains 108 flats and 3 penthouse maisonettes of similar design and layout to the flats and penthouses in Lauderdale Tower.


There are three flats on each floor, each numbered for the floor number plus 1, 2 or 3 . E.g. flats on the 17th floor are numbered 171, 172, 173. They form columns of 1s, 2s, and 3s.


There are three sides. The No. ‘1’ flats have rooms along the east-facing side, and balconies looking north. The No. ‘2’ flats have rooms along the north-east-facing side, and balconies looking west. The No. ‘3’ flats have rooms along the west–facing side, and balconies looking south.


The ‘ground floor’ of Cromwell Tower is at street level. The main entrance is reached by entering the estate from Beech Street or Silk Street then crossing Cromwell Place to reach Cromwell Tower. There is a ‘first floor’ podium level entrance off Cromwell Highwalk for residents’ use.


There is a foyer at street level with a porter at a reception desk. The entrance at first floor level, a few steps down from Cromwell Highwalk, leads to quite a dramatic foyer in itself, and then via stairs down to the main street-level foyer.


Beyond the foyer is a lobby with 3 high-speed passenger lifts.

Emergency stairs

There are stairs within the east-facing side of Cromwell Tower, at the end nearest the main entrance.

Ground floor occupants

Next to the tower, at street level, there is the Chimes Music Shop, and a unit used by the Barbican Arts Centre.


Cromwell Tower faces onto Cromwell Place, and at first floor level onto Cromwell Highwalk.

List description

List description of this building issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (as it then was) in 2001.

“Blocks I, II and 111: Triangular plan with upswept balconies running round, jagged stepped tops containing penthouses, of up to three storeys with roof gardens. Below penthouse level there are three large flats per floor, the living rooms in the prows, served by a ce ntral triangular well with a lift on each side, which can be ordered from a common central control panel. Sliding timber windows, metal and glass balustrades, the steel uprights painted. Double-height glazed entrances.”