Construction of the Tower Bridge
Several bridges were constructed to connect the two sides of the Thames as London expanded.
The first bridge to be built was the London Bridge and soon many followed, all completed to the west of this bridge as not to disturb the port area.
During the nineteenth century London developed immensely on the east side of London Bridge and a new bridge was necessary. It was decided that the best option was to build a drawbridge to allow the flow of ships on the River Thames. The two sides of the bridge would be lifted by vapour machines. It was inaugurated in 1894, eight years behind schedule.
In 1910, the high-level open-air walkways were closed, as most people preferred to walk on the bridge because these were considered unsafe.
In 1982, the high-level walkways were covered and are now part of the exhibition of the Tower Bridge Museum.
Visiting Tower Bridge
During your visit to the Tower Bridge you’ll witness how the bridge’s elevation system worked from 1894 to 1976, thanks to a vapour machine and its later substitution by an electrical system.
The other part of the exhibition demonstrates the importance the Tower Bridge had during London’s history. In one of the top floors, there is a photo exhibition with the world’s most famous bridges, including Tower Bridge.
London’s iconic symbol
Tower Bridge is one of the most emblematic symbols of London and makes for a beautiful photo of Britain’s capital. Visitors will learn how the bridge was constructed if they visit the inside of Tower Bridge. However, we do not consider it an essential visit.
Tower Bridge is usually confused with London Bridge, a starker bridge, located to the east of Tower Bridge, the first to be built connecting both sides of the Thames.
April – September: 10 am to 6 pm
October – March: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Closed 24 – 26 December
Children (ages 5 - 15): £4.20
Students and seniors (over 60): £6.80
Children (less than 5): free entry
Free entry with the London Pass.
Tube: Tower Hill (Circle, District and DLR lines)
Bus: 8, 9, 11, 15, 15B, 22B, 25, 133 and 501.