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Tower Bridge is one of the great symbols of London. It is worth a visit if you have an hour to spare in your sight-seeing schedule, to learn more about its history. The views are great so take your camera. Many Tourists believe that it is called London Bridge and not Tower Bridge.
In 1962, the real London Bridge (not Tower Bridge) was falling down. Built in 1831, the bridge couldn't handle the ever-increasing flow of traffic across the Thames River. The bridge was put up for sale, and Robert McCulloch, Founder of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation, submitted the winning bid of $2,460,000. The story goes that he thought he was bidding on the very pretty Tower Bridge but ended up buying the more drab old London Bridge. The bridge was dismantled, and each stone was carefully marked. Everything was shipped 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California, and then trucked to Lake Havasu City. Reconstruction began on September 23, 1968, with a ceremony including the Lord Mayor of London, who laid the cornerstone. On October 10, 1971, the bridge was dedicated.
Many people think that Tower Bridge is very old but it is only just over 100 years old and by British standards that is very new. Tower Bridge was completed in 1894. It only took 8 years of construction. The area east of London Bridge had become a busy port. Public pressure mounted for a bridge to the east of London Bridge. The big problem for the Corporation of London was how to build a bridge downstream from London Bridge that big seagoing ships could sail under. The final design needed two massive piers to be sunk into the river bed. It required over 11,000 tons of steel to provided the framework for the Towers and Walkways. It was then all covered in Cornish granite and Portland stone, to protect the steelwork and to give the Bridge an attractive appearance.
It is a hydraulically operated bridge, using steam to power the large pumping engines. The energy created is stored in six huge accumulators so that, as soon as power is required to lift the Bridge, it was readily available. The accumulators fed the driving engines when the bridge needed to be raised. It takes about a minute to raise the bridge to the maximum 86 degrees. Since 1976 they have been driven by oil and electricity rather than steam. The high-level walkways, were designed so that Londoners could still cross the Bridge when it was raised, but they were closed down due to lack of use. Most people preferred to wait at the bottom and watch the bascules rise up rather than climb up the stairs to get to the walkways. Tower Bridge is an ideal location for visiting the following attractions; St Katherine’s Dock, Tower Bridge, Britain at War Experience, London dungeon, HMS Belfast, Hay’s Galleria, Southwark cathedral, The Old operating theatre, The Southbank. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, The Golden Hinde, The Imperial War Museum
Top Tourist Sites of London
are some of the top tourist sites of London: Big Ben, Tower of London,
Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Wellington House, New
Scotland Yard, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster
Abbey, Tate Gallery, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, The Thames, Trafalgar
Square, Downing St, Westminster Abbey, Horseguards, St James' Park, St James'
Palace, Clarence House, Pall Mall: Reform Club, Buckingham Palace. Green Park,
Shepherd's Market, Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Albert
Hall & Memorial, Kensington Palace, Museum District. The Lawyers'
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