Only fools acton pic 2

Harlech Tower, Acton. Used for the exterior of "Nelson mandela House" from 1981 to 1985. Photo taken by me on a visit there in 2013.

Harlech Tower is a towerblock on Park Road, Acton, West London. The towerblock is near several others on the same estate and was used as the exterior scenes of "Nelson Mandela House" in Only Fools And Horses from 1981 to 1985. From 1988 to 2003 the exterior scenes of the tower were filmed at a towerblock in Bristol. Harlech Tower was last seen in To Hull And Back - (25th December 1985). The episodes in between that episode and Danger UXD (15th January 1989) did not features exterior shots of "Nelson Mandela House", in which location filming had moved to Bristol.

Harlech Tower did feature in the opening titles of every episode ever made, long after filming ceased there.


Harlech Tower was built in the 1960s.

Usage in Only Fools And HorsesEdit

Harlech Tower was chosen by Ray Butt in 1981 when the show was being prepared. The estate that the towerblock was on looked very working class, so felt suitable for a new sitcom about market traders who lived in a flat in a towerblock. A caretaker took Ray, the set designer and the shows writer to a flat in the towerblock and the designer took some notes. Harlech Tower was used as the exterior of Nelson Mandela House for the first 4 series and the 1985 Christmas special To Hull And Back - (25th December 1985).

In the late 1980s filming switched to a towerblock estate in Bristol. Whitemead House in Ashton in Bristol was the new towerblock used, it did look very different to Harlech Tower and is right next to Bristol Football Ground.

Usage In Rock And ChipsEdit

Harlech Tower was again used in Rock And Chips (Prequel to Only Fools And Horses), set in 1960, in which it again doubled as Nelson Mandela House for the first episode of the prequel.

Inbetween OFAH and R&CEdit

After Rock And Chips filmed there in 2009-2010Edit

Appearances in Only Fools And HorsesEdit

This is a list of the episodes of OFAH that Harlech Tower appeared in, and the scenes in each episode the towerblock appeared in, as well as other part of the housing estate.

Even though a different towerblock in Bristol was chosen in later episodes, Harlech Tower appeared in the opening titles of every episode of Only Fools And Horses from 1981 to 2003.