Tower Bridge in London England

This is a short history of the London landmark of Tower Bridge, SE1 2UP.

If out of the vast array available you were to choose a building that typifies London, your choice would have to be Tower Bridge.

This if one of the MUST SEE tourist attractions in London. In fact, once in the centre of London by the river Thames, you will find it hard to miss.

Its Opening times Daily are 9.30am until 6.00pm

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History of Tower Bridge

Tower bridge was completed and opened in the year 1894. It was opened by Edward 7th when he was Prince of Wales. It took 8 years in it's construction, using 5 major contractors and over 400 labourers. When it was completed and as it stands still today, it is one of London's most famous landmarks, its designers, John Wolfe Barry and Sir Horace Jones can be proud of a splendid piece of engineering.

Pictures of Tower Bridge London from


During it's building, two piers were sunk into the river bed to support the weight of the bridge. A massive 11,000 tons of steel used then for the walkways and towers. A layer of Cornish granite and Portland stone were used as a covering, to protect the steelwork and to make it look nicer to the eye.

Still in use today the bridge is still opened for river traffic many times in a week. It is said bridge carries 1,900 vehicles per hour between 7am and 10am during London rush hour. 140 feet above the Thames you can look down and around the tower and see the original steam engines used to lift the huge bridge until 1976.

Historic Dates worthy of note

  • 1910 - the high-level walkways were closed down due to lack of use.
  • 1912 - Frank McClean flew between the bascules and the high-level walkways in an emergency. Quite a spectacle for onlookers and the bi-plane pilot.
  • 1952 - a London bus leapt between the opening bascules to avoid plunging into the river as the bridge opened with the bus still on it.
  • 1977 - for the Queen's Silver Jubilee Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue.

Picture of Tower Bridge on a slightly cloudy day in London

Further information on Tower Bridge

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