Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Tower Bridge (London)

Tower Bridge is one of the iconic structures of London, and is known the world over as a symbol of this historic city.

It carries a roadway across the River Thames, and is adjacent on the North side of the river to the Tower of London. It is often confused with London Bridge, and a scurrilous story suggests that the American businessmen who bought London Bridge thought that they were buying Tower Bridge.

For many years it was the lowest bridge over the Thames, and is still the lowest actually in London. Much further down, between Thurrock in Essex and Dartford in Kent, is the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.

Tower Bridge is a lifting bridge. Two drawbridges can be opened to allow large ships to pass underneath. In the first year of the bridge's operation, it opened over a thousand times, but it now opens only on special occasions.

The bridge was built to the design of Wolfe Barry and Horace Jones, and opened in 1894.

The Tower Bridge Museum is contained within the structure, and guided tours take visitors along the high level walkways.

The two raising sections weigh over 1,000 tons each, but can be fully raised in less than two minutes.

In 1952, a London bus somehow passed the "stop" sign, but managed to leap the widening gap. This, of course, is not recommended.

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