Thames journey (5): Tower Bridge

Posted: November 25, 2014 in London, UK
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Tower Bridge from the pool of London

Tower Bridge from the pool of London

In the late 19th century with development of the east end of London it was decided that a new river crossing was required downstream of London Bridge. This new crossing had to take into account the tall masted ships which required access to the pool of London to unload at the warehouses there. In 1884 a design by Sir Horace Jones was selected and construction began in 1886 and lasted 8 years. The bridge was opened in June 1894.

Tower top

Tower top

Going under Tower bridge

Going under Tower bridge

It has a span of 800 ft with a central span of 200 feet. On the lower level this central span is made of two sections which are capable of opening to and angle of 86 degrees to enable tall ships to pass underneath. Each of the towers measures 213 ft.

HMS Edinburgh at Tower Bridge London 07-05-2013
HMS Edinburgh passes under open Tower Bridge in 2013
Photo by Martin Stichenor (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dxhawk/)

Tower Bridge is often confused with London Bridge, especially by tourists and visitors. There is one urban myth that when the old London bridge was purchased for relocation to the USA, the buyer thought that it was Tower Bridge he was buying. This has been denied by both the buyer and the seller in that deal.

Tower bridge and the city beyond from downstream

Tower bridge and the city beyond from downstream

We continued our journey downstream from Tower Bridge to Greenwich by Thames Clipper, a fast catamaran which runs a regular service along the river.

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