Tower Bridge is one of the most remarkable and recognizable bridges in the world. Completed in 1894, at a time when London was one of the world’s busiest trading ports, handling goods from all corners of the British Empire and beyond, it served as a gateway to the capital and a key crossing point over the River Thames.
Designed by Sir Horace Jones and Sir John Wolfe Barry, Tower Bridge is an astonishing feat of engineering, containing a special counterweight mechanism that allows the roadway to lift so that ships can pass beneath. At the opening ceremony on 30 June 1894, spectators were ‘spellbound and speechless’ when the bridge was lifted, according to The Times. Today, the bridge is raised on average twice a day, and it is still an impressive spectacle. This book charts the story of the bridge from the earliest plans for a river crossing on this site, through the complex evolution of its development, to its construction and operation, offering the reader insights into its architecture and engineering history, while also shedding light on the people who worked on it. It contains specially commissioned photographs and a wealth of archival images, including a sequence showing the bridge at every stage of construction. Also included are the original working drawings for the bridge, some of which have never been published. This book will fascinate and inform anyone interested in engineering, architecture and the history of London.