"Tower Bridge" Tower Bridge Tip by phil_uk_net
Tower Bridge, London: 308 reviews and 521 photos
You will probably see this on every VT London page but even so Tower Bridge is one of the major sights in London so I will include it here.
Tours are available into the engine rooms and along the high-level walkways which are recommended.
The bridge opens over 900 times each year requiring 24 hours notice. The bridge opening schedule can be found at: www.livesights.com/VideoPages/showcase.htm
Tower Bridge is not as old as some people imagine. In fact it was opened a little over 100 years ago in 1894. This was at a time of great technological achievement in construction techniques and there was pressure from some parties to build a bridge that encapsulated this. However, another requirement - due to its proximity to the Tower of London - was for it to blend in with the architecture of the Tower. The end result was a compromise. The internal steel structure of the bridge and the design of the raisable bascules was leading edge technology at the time. The gothic style exterior using granite satisfied the requirement for the bridge to blend in with its surroundings.
Originally the bascules were raised hydraulically using high pressure water and steam engines. Nowadays a system using electricity and oil is used.
In its first year the bascules were raised over 6100 times. At the time, and for many years after, the docks in London were very active with boats going in and out all the time.
The original colour was brown but this was changed to red, white and blue in 1977 for the Queen's Silver Jubilee - a huge improvement I'm sure you will agree!
Address: Across the River Thames. Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP
Directions: Nearest Tubes, Tower Hill & London Bridge. Between Tooley Rd. & St Catherines Dock.
Phone: +44 (0)20 7407 9191
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