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Bridgewater House

A former Regional HQ for BT that was also part of the pioneering Confravision videoconferencing service launched in 1971.

Grid reference:

A map showing the location of Bridgewater House

A picture of Bridgewater House
Bridgewater House on Whitworth Street.

Bridgewater House was built as a packing and shipping warehouse in 1912 to a design by Harry S. Fairhurst and is a designated Grade II listed building. It has eight storeys and is built around a steel frame with a cladding of sandstone on the lower floors and white glazed terracotta on the upper floors. It was at one point the Regional HQ for BT before that was moved to Gateway House - known as the ‘Lazy S’ - near to Piccadilly.

A extract from a Post Office brochure about their Confravision service
An extract from a Post Office Telecommunications Confravision brochure.

However, with regard to telecommunications technology, Bridgewater House played an important role in the provision of the pioneering Confravision videoconferencing service launched in 1971. Confravision was the world’s first public both way television system giving conference facilities to groups of people at studios in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, London and Manchester. In 1974 Confravision chalked up another important first with the launch of the world’s first international videoconferening link; in this case between the UK and Sweden.