|Location Map ( geo)|
|Middlesex • Surrey|
|Transport for London|
Tower Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world. It is a bascule bridge and it was built in 1894 by Horace Jones with collaboration by John Wolfe Barry, it was the winning design from fifty entries. It took eight years to build with five contractors. The bridge itself is a steel frame with a stone cladding to make it fit into the scenery of the Tower of London from that gives the Bridge its name. Until the opening of the first Blackwall Tunnel, it was the eastern most permanent crossing on the Thames. Although the walkways on the bridge were closed in 1910 due to a lack of use, the bridge in 1923, was given the number A100 at classification. Today, the Bridge is one of London's most loved landmarks and is very busy, the bridge forming a part of the London Inner Ring Road.
The Bascules are probably the main distinguishing feature of the bridge. As boats have priority over cars, the Bascules allow tall boats to sail under the bridge safely. The Bascules were originally lifted with steam powered hydraulics. These steam engines ran reliably for 92 years, lifting and unlifting the bridge. These engines always had ready power due to the bridge having six massive accumulators which stored the power. In 1976, the steam engines & the six massive accumulators were replaced with an oil and electric hydraulic system. Though the bridge Bascules don't lift as often, they still allow tall boats to sail to London Bridge. The original steam engines are now part of the Tower Bridge Museum as are the walkways as part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition.