Tower Bridge is one of London’s most iconic landmarks – and tomorrow it turns 121 years old!
To celebrate this momentous occasion, here are 10 terrific Tower Bridge facts…
1. Prior to the opening of the bridge, pedestrians wishing to cross the river would have used a 410 metre tunnel called the Tower Subway, at a cost of half a penny a time. It is now used for water mains.
2. In 1952, the bridge began to open while a double-decker bus was still on it. Number 78 bus driver Albert Gunton accelerated and jumped the three foot gap to safety; he was awarded £10 for his bravery.
3. The high level walkways between the two towers were once a hot spot for prostitutes and pickpockets. As a result, the walkways were closed in 1910, but re-opened in 1982 with an admission fee.
4. There is a replica of Tower Bridge in the Chinese city of Suzhou. Inside there is a cafe serving ‘English-style coffee’.
5. According to law, large ships passing under the bridge always have right of way.
6. Before construction began, over 50 weird and wonderful designs of the bridge were submitted and judged in a contest. The winner was Sir Horace Jones, who was actually one of the judges!
7. Tower Bridge took a total of eight years to build, and construction finished in 1894.
8. A whopping 31,000,000 bricks were used to build the bridge, along with 22,000 litres of paint.
9. It took a total of 432 construction workers to finish the bridge.
10. Including pedestrians, motorists and cyclists, an average of 44,000 cross the bridge every day.