29 Tower Bridge Facts: Explore This Famous Landmark In London | Kidadl


29 Tower Bridge Facts: Explore This Famous Landmark In London

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Tower Bridge is a beautiful bridge built over the River Thames in London.

The bridge was built as a solution to high commercial development in London's East End. However, over 40,000 people cross the bridge every day.

Many people confuse this bridge with the London Bridge which is actually a different bridge that's located a little further down the river. It's also more utilitarian, unlike Tower Bridge which contains many features that certainly make it a tourist attraction. Read on to know more about Tower Bridge.

History Of Tower Bridge

The planning of the Tower Bridge started back in the late 1870s. Work began in the late 1880s and took them eight years to complete.

In the latter half of the 1800s, commercial development in London's East End reached a high and another river crossing was required.

In 1876, the city authority formed a 'Subway or Special Bridge Committee'. It took them eight years to choose a design from around 50 submitted designs.

The design that was chosen by the committee was submitted by an engineer, Sir Horace Jones in collaboration with an architect, Sir John Wolfe Barry.

Construction for this iconic bridge began back in 1886. It took them eight years and 432 workers to complete the suspension bridge in 1894.

Back in 1894, when the bridge was completed, it became the most sophisticated and the largest bascule bridge to have been completed in the world.

Tower Bridge was built with a Victorian Gothic style to integrate it with the nearby Tower of London.

During the Victorian era, the place on River Thames where the Tower Bridge stands today used to be the busiest port in the world.

As a part of the 2012 London Olympics, the British composer Samuel Bordoli transformed the West walkway into a Live Music Sculpture of 200 ft (61 m).

Behind the decorated Olympic rings, Samuel Bordoli arranged 30 classical musicians along the bridge's length for 138 ft (42 m) and their sound echoed throughout the bridge.

In 2014, the Tower Bridge Exhibition installed one of its most significant developments, a glass walkway was added to its West Walkway.

Architecture Of Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks of London and the architectural feat is certainly a thing to marvel at.

Tower Bridge is 800 ft (244 m) long. The bridge connects the two towers on both sides that each have a height of 213 ft (65 m).

The central span between the two towers of 200 ft (61 m) is split into two equal bascules that can be raised when ships need to pass.

Each bascule weighs more than 1,000 t (907.18 mt) is counterbalanced to easily raise them in five minutes to let river traffic pass.

The equipment through which this movement of bascules is operated is located at each of the bases of the two towers which connect the bridge.

Tower Bridge is composed of two suspended bridges both of which close and open, and the towers at the sides have two horizontal walkways.

The movement of the bascules of the bridge is similar to that of a seesaw. They go up and down in a manner of an off-center pivot.

Each of the two towers was made so that they could withstand the imposed horizontal pressure of the suspended sections.

The pushing and pulling movements of the bascules were powered by steams from three large boilers. Each of these boilers is fuelled in 24-hour-shifts.

The bascules of Tower Bridge need to be raised around 1,000 times every year. River traffic is limited, but they still take precedence over bridge users.

To open the bridge, a notice of 24 hours is needed, but no charges are required and the timings are all published on the bridge's website.

Tower Bridge is built on the River Thames.

The Tower Bridge Today

Tower Bridge today is one of the most known places in England. Thousands of people avail the bridge and many ships cross under the bridge every day.

The bridge was built to reduce the regular road traffic and that purpose was fulfilled. However, still, more than 40,000 people cross the bridge every day.

The central span of the bridge is composed of two bascules that can be raised in an 83-degree-angle. The term bascule means 'see-saw' in French.

The City of London Corporation imposed a weight restriction of 19.8 t (18 mt) and a speed restriction of 20 mph (32.2 kph) on vehicles availing the bridge.

The bridge contains a camera system that measures the speed of traffic crossing Tower Bridge and its number plate recognition system sends charges to unlawful drivers.

One of the most significant parts of the bridge, the walkways, were closed off in 1910 and reopened in 1982 as part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition.

The exhibition includes the bridge's Victorian engine rooms, its walkways, and the bridge's towers. It shows the history of the bridge through films, displays, and photos.

The originally painted color of the bridge was chocolate brown. Later it has been painted red, gray, and more colors.

In 1977, it was painted blue, white, and red to celebrate the silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the color remains the same still.

The two towers and the walkways of the bridge contain many event spaces that can give you amazing views, so it's one of the most popular venues in London.

Many people think that this bridge is actually called London Bridge. There is a different bridge called the London Bridge, but it's located further down the river and it's more utilitarian.


What is an interesting fact about Tower Bridge?

When Tower Bridge was first built, it was the most sophisticated and largest bascule bridge made.

Why is it called Tower Bridge?

It was called the Tower Bridge because the bridge is located just beside the Tower of London.

How old is Tower Bridge?

Tower Bridge is 136 years old.

Who built Tower Bridge?

Engineer, Sir John Wolfe Barry, and architect, Sir Horace Jones built the Tower Bridge.

What color is Tower Bridge?

Originally, Tower Bridge was painted a greenish-blue color, however n 1977 its new color scheme became red, blue, and white.

What is inside the towers of Tower Bridge?

There are elevators and stairs inside the towers that go to the walkways above the towers of Tower Bridge.

How long is Tower Bridge?

Tower Bridge is 800 ft (244 m) long.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?