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Bridges, Landmarks, Photography, River Thames

10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London. Tower Bridge is one of five London bridges now owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.

The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal tension forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical components of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge’s present colour scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee.

Here are ten incredible images from the construction of the bridge between 1886 and 1894:

Go on then, make it 11, this drawing show finishing touches being added.:

101

Construction started in 1887 and took eight years with five major contractors – Sir John Jackson (foundations), Baron Armstrong (hydraulics), William Webster, Sir H.H. Bartlett, and Sir William Arrol & Co. – and employed 432 construction workers. E W Crutwell was the resident engineer for the construction.

Two massive piers, containing over 70,000 tons of concrete, were sunk into the riverbed to support the construction. Over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the towers and walkways. This was then clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone, both to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the bridge a pleasing appearance.

Jones died in 1887 and George D. Stevenson took over the project. Stevenson replaced Jones’s original brick façade with the more ornate Victorian Gothic style, which makes the bridge a distinctive landmark, and was intended to harmonise the bridge with the nearby Tower of London. The total cost of construction was £1,184,000.

9 Comments

  1. London Drawings (@LondonDrawings) August 17, 2015 8:24 pm

    10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge #london http://t.co/N3loRIcUUv http://t.co/hKt3WzDlZU

  2. Rita Hunter (@ritamay1) September 1, 2015 11:39 pm

    RT @LondonDrawings: 10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge #london http://t.co/N3loRIcUUv http://t.co/hKt3WzDlZU

  3. @OldLondonImages June 14, 2017 10:44 pm

    10 (or maybe 11) incredible images showing the construction of @TowerBridge #London 1886–1894… https://t.co/Vf4n7TnQpw

  4. @dickens_london June 16, 2017 9:06 am

    10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge.
    https://t.co/3ORC0A5gpP https://t.co/r5IuvEQGtU

  5. @historyhouseuk June 16, 2017 9:22 am

    RT @dickens_london: 10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge.
    https://t.co/3ORC0A5gpP https://t.co/r5IuvEQGtU

  6. @jan77hd June 20, 2017 9:10 pm

    RT @dickens_london: 10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge.
    https://t.co/3ORC0A5gpP https://t.co/r5IuvEQGtU

  7. @TechWriterGeoff July 4, 2017 8:42 pm

    RT @dickens_london: 10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge.
    https://t.co/3ORC0A5gpP https://t.co/r5IuvEQGtU

  8. @Mr_Drood August 23, 2017 7:01 pm

    RT @dickens_london: 10 incredible images from the construction of Tower Bridge.
    https://t.co/3ORC0A5gpP https://t.co/r5IuvEQGtU

  9. @FrankBullitt39 August 28, 2017 11:38 pm

    RT @OldLondonImages: 10 (or maybe 11) incredible images showing the construction of @TowerBridge #London 1886–1894 https://t.co/N3loRIcUUv…

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