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How old is Tower Bridge?

London’s Tower Bridge is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, a symbol of Britishness and a world wide recognised landmark, but how old is Tower Bridge and why was it built?

Tower Bridge was built as a response to rapid population growth in Victorian London. However it was constructed to ensure that the numerous ships navigating the Thames every day wouldn’t be affected, hence the unusual and unique design. 

It takes 5 minutes to lift the bridge and allow larger ships through. It is worth mentioning it is ships and not pedestrians who have the right of way on the bridge. The full lifting of the bridge happens more than one thousand times each year and ships have to give 24 hours notice first. Tower Bridge is the only bridge on the Thames that can be raised.

Today the bridge is a major crossing for over 40,000 people on a daily basis. And it is so famous in fact that it can be watched 24 hours a day on its own web cam!

Tower BridgeLondon Getting Opened 4 scaled
Tower Bridge History

So how old is Tower Bridge?

It was built between 1886 and 1894, taking eight years to complete and officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1894. It took a total of five different companies, with around 430 workers to build the bridge. The total cost of Tower Bridges construction was £1,184,000 which equates to around £100 million today.

Over 30 million bricks and 2 million rivets were used in the construction, along with 11 thousand tonnes of steel, which are hidden behind the attractive Cornish Granite and Portland stone facade. Each of the two towers is 143 feet high

It takes 20 thousand litres of paint to cover the bridge in its entirety. Interestingly the bridge started out as a dark brown colour; it only gained its red, white and blue livery in 1977 when it was painted in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s II Silver Jubilee. A few years later the bridge was repainted; it was decided upon blue and white colours when it was reopened to the public again following a restoration project in 1982.

If you’re interested in visiting this wonder of London you can plan your visit in advance to be sure that you experience everything Tower Bridge has to offer, including its spectacular glass walkway, the historical engine rooms and a breathtaking view across London’s skyline. 

Located just a short distance away from the Tower Bridge, you will find the beautiful Dixon Hotel. This stylish and historic hotel has been built within the walls of the old Tower Bridge Magistrates Court, and has been transformed into a stunning hotel inspired by the culture of SE1. Built with design in mind, you will find the perfect combination of expert staff, amenities and comfort to ensure you have a stay to remember.

Book your stay at the Dixon Hotel for a luxurious break, and find out the history of Tower Bridge and the surrounding area.