How It Works

Top 5 Facts: Tower Bridge

Competition

A competition was opened in 1876 to design the bridge. Out of 50 entries, the committee selected the entry by Horace Jones and John Wolfe-Barry, in October 1884.

Walkways

High-level walkways allow pedestrians to cross when the bridge is lifted. In 1910, they were closed because they attracted prostitutes and thieves.

Flypast

A disgruntled RAF pilot flew his Hawker Hunter jet fighter aircraft underneath the top span of the bridge on 5 April 1968. He was immediately thrown out of the RAF.

Mistaken identity

When the old London Bridge was sold in 1968, to be shipped and rebuilt at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, it was alleged the purchaser thought they bought Tower Bridge.

In numbers

A work crew could fit on average 200 rivets a day and 2 million were used throughout the whole structure. The bridge builders were paid £2 a week.