Tower Bridge London Facts

About Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge London is one of the most renowned bridges in London that was constructed in the year 1894 which stretches between Tower Hamlets and the London Borough of Southwark that crosses the River Thames. It is a 127 years old Grade I listed bascules and suspension combined structure that ensures better access to East London. This is one of the most beautiful attractions in London is known for its architectural grandeur, rich history, and stunning views of the surroundings which flaunts the Victorian style of engineering and architecture. You will be surprised to know that the high-rise walkways of Tower Bridge London were used by 40000 people and 21000 vehicles in a single day.

Dating back to history of Tower Bridge and the structure, the visitors will know about the past and also catch a glimpse of the names of the people involved in the construction of this massive structure, original accelerators and pumping engines, and some designs that were proposed for the construction of the bridge. Plan your visit to Tower Bridge London and you can take a stroll through the glass walkways and be mesmerized to see the River Thames flowing underneath. You can even capture the moments spent with your friends and family on the bridge and cherish the memories for a lifetime.

Facts About The Tower Bridge London

Before you book Tower Bridge London tickets, checkout some interesting facts about the structure and its construction. There are plenty of facts that date back to the time in history. But, some facts are so surprising that people would not have known about them before.

One Out of 50 Designs Was Finalized

One of the Tower Bridge London facts is that a total of 50 designs were submitted to the City of London Corporation when the idea was first suggested. You will find some of these designs on display at Tower Bridge London even today. The approval of the designs of the Tower Bridge London by the Special Bridge or Subway Committee took about 8 years. Ultimately, the bascule and suspension design proposed by City Architect Sir John Wolfe Barry and Sir Horace Jones was approved in October 1884.

It Took 8 years To Construct The Bridge

The construction of Tower Bridge London took place between 1886 and 1894. One of the amazing facts about Tower Bridge London that the bridge was the hard work of five fundamental companies and 432 construction workers. The two giant piers were constructed on foundations that disappear into the riverbeds. The framework of the bridge used about 11000 tons of steel and also included Cornish granite and Portland stone.

The Bridge Was Inaugurated By The Royal Family

One of the other Tower Bridge London facts states that the bridge was inaugurated by the royal family. The Prince of Wales, King Edward VII, and his wife, The Princess of Wales opened Tower Bridge London with a huge celebration on June 30, 1894. The moment in which the bridge was inaugurated created history as people used the Tower Subway under the Thames to commute before the construction of Tower Bridge.

Bascules Are Operated Using Hydraulic Power

The Tower Bridge London used hydraulic pumps powered by coal-burning steam engines to operate bascules or walkways of the tower until 1974. After this, the system was replaced with an electro-hydraulic system or electrical and oil-driven system that lifts the bascules in just five minutes. You will find some of the original steam engines on display within the Engine Rooms of the Tower Bridge.

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First Tower Bridge Lift Occurred In 1894

Another great event which can be considered as the Tower Bridge London facts is that the first Tower Bridge lift occurred on June 30, 1894. There was a delay of about two minutes when the bascules of the Tower Bridge were lifted for the first time. Harbour Master’s vessel, Daisy was the first vessel to pass through Tower Bridge, followed by a cascade of honorary vessels. You can catch a glimpse of the last three ships to pass through the bridge on that day in William Lionel Wyllie’s painting named Opening of Tower Bridge, which is displayed at Guildhall Art Gallery.

A Bus Once Jumped Over The Bridge

One of the interesting facts about Tower Bridge London is that a bus jumped over the bascules on December 30, 1952. Bus number 78 was operated by the bus driver Albert Gunter when the bridge suddenly started opening. At that time, a watchman was appointed to ring the warning bell before opening the bascules of the bridge. The ringing of the warning bell did not happen on that particular day. Consequently, Albert managed to leap from one bascule to another without injuring anybody inside the bus. The bus driver was later rewarded for his bravery.

Glass Walkway Was Added in 2014

If you visit Tower Bridge London today, you will find the glass walkway. According to the Tower Bridge London facts, the two glass walkway was constructed in the year 2014. Since its opening, this was the first development to the structure of the bridge that was highly significant in terms of public experience. This glass walkway on Tower Bridge London offers stunning views of the River Thames flowing under the bridge as well as the surrounding views of London.

Tower Bridge Opens About 800 Times a Year

Another one of the interesting facts about Tower Bridge London is that it opens about 800 times a year, which counts up to two times a day. You may feel that it is significantly a large number, but it is a surprise to know that it is nothing compared to the first year of operation. In the year 1894, the bascules of the Tower Bridge London were raised about 6194 times, which is equivalent to 17 times in a day. When we look at the data, it is evident that things have become more streamlined than the previous times.

A Man Once Flew A Plane Through Tower Bridge

A man named Frank Miller, who was challenged by his 13 years old son, flew a plane through Tower Bridge London in 1951. Although he won 35 shillings for the dare, he was fined a heavy amount of GBP 100 in court. Later, in the year 1912, another Frank flew a plane through Tower Bridge London, but his reasons do not seem to be as amusing as the previous one.

Tower Bridge Was Part of The 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony

You will be astonished to know one of the Tower Bridge London facts that the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics was held at the Tower Bridge of London. The Olympic rings were suspended from the bascules on the bridge. Moreover, the movie sequence of James Bond, 007, and ‘the Queen’ flying through the bridge in a helicopter was also shot on Tower Bridge during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

Original Color Used To Be Brown

Another fun Tower Bridge London facts asserts that the original color of Tower Bridge London was chocolate brown. In the year 1977, the bridge was painted in red, white, and blue color to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Queen. Some more developments took place in the bridge between 2008 and 2016. It was during this time that the bridge was painted in the bright blue and white colors that you see today.

More Than 40,000 Cross The Bridge Every Day

The Tower Bridge London is the significant crossway of the River Thames. Today, this bridge is used by a stupendous crowd of 40000 people and approximately 21000 vehicles every day, excluding the number of times (i.e., 800) the bascules were lifted to let the ships through. The continuous lifting of the walkways has resulted in massive wear and tear. To maintain the structure of the bridge, the City of London Corporation has put a limit on the speed of up to 32 kilometers per hour and a weight limit of 18 tons for vehicles using the bridge.

Largest Lego Structure Ever Built Was of Tower Bridge

The Tower Bridge London facts reveal that the largest Lego structure ever built was of Tower Bridge, which stands at a whopping height of 13 meters. This structure was constructed for the launch of the latest Discovery car by Land Rover. This structure used about 5805846 Lego pieces, which broke its previous record of 470646 bricks. When you lay these bricks on a straight road, you will find that the construction would stretch for around 200 miles, which is equivalent to the distance between Tower Bridge in London and Paris.

The Architect of Tower Bridge Also Designed London's Famous Markets

The architects, named Sir James Horace and Sir John Wolfe Barry, who constructed Tower Bridge London, were also responsible for the design of the famous markets in London. Some of their remarkable works include Smithfield Market, Leadenhall Market, and Billingsgate Market.

Commonly Mistaken With London Bridge

The Tower Bridge London facts state that people generally confuse London Bridge with Tower Bridge. When we compare the two, it is evident that London Bridge is situated further upriver and is plainer than Tower Bridge. Therefore, Tower Bridge London is the most renowned bridge in London that attracts about 500000 visitors annually.


How big is Tower Bridge London?

Tower Bridge London is 240 meters in length, 65 meters in height, and 18 meters in width. There is also an opening in the tower that is around 76 meters wide. The twin towers of Tower Bridge London stand tall at the height of 61 meters above the Thames.

How old is Tower Bridge London?

Tower Bridge London is about 136 years old as it was constructed between 1886 and 1894 by Horace Jones, Henry Marc Brunel, and John Wolfe Barry. The bridge expanded its commercial potential in the 19th century, when it was officially opened in 1894.

What is the best time to visit Tower Bridge London?

Although Tower Bridge London is an all-year-round tourist destination, the best time to visit this popular attraction is between March and May. During this time, the weather remains pleasant, and you can even take the advantage of the relaxed opening timings. To avoid crowds, it is advisable to visit the attraction in the early mornings or late afternoons.

How does Tower Bridge London lift?

The power to lift Tower Bridge London was created by three large boilers that were continuously fuelled by stokers 24 hours a day. This energy was then used to lift the bridge whenever required. The boilers created steam which was used to power the large steam pumping engines in the other room. The whole process of lifting generally takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

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Do we have to book in advance for Tower Bridge London Tickets

Yes, it is better to book your Tower Bridge London Tickets in advance as it will save much of your time and energy that you would have otherwise spent standing in long queues. The advance booking facility also provides you with the advantage of selecting the visit date as per your choice.


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