Tower Bridge – Tour London in comfort, safety and style. Visit the major tourist attractions and famous landmarks in style.
Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London which crosses the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name, and has become an iconic symbol of London.
The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge’s present colour scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee. Originally it was painted a mid greenish-blue colour.
Tower Bridge has a fascinating history, which is explored in full in The Tower Bridge Exhibition. Here are a few interesting facts you may not have known:
1910 – the high-level walkways, which were designed so that the public could still cross the bridge when it was raised, were closed down due to lack of use.
1912 – during an emergency, Frank McClean had to fly between the bascules and the high-level walkways in his Short biplane, to avoid an accident.
1952 – a London bus driven by Albert Gunton had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise with the number 78 bus still on it.
1977 – Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. (Before that, it was painted a chocolate brown colour).
1982 – Tower Bridge opened to the public for the first time since 1910, with a permanent exhibition inside called The Tower Bridge Experience.
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