Tower Bridge In London Features On This Lovely Resin Fridge Magnet
This world famous London tourist attraction spans the River Thames close to The Tower of London. Opened in 1894 this eight hundred foot long engineering masterpiece is an amazing site, especially when the two bascules of its central span rise to allow river traffic to pass by. This bascule design is combined with the suspension design of the two outer spans of the bridge contributing to the highly recognisable silhouette of this piece of London history. It is hard to believe that, at the time of its construction, the design of Tower Bridge was not universally popular. It was described by some as ‘pretentious’ and ‘absurd’. Aside from its landmark status the bridge has a more practical existence with in excess of 40,000 people crossing it each day, whether on foot, by cycle or in a vehicle. River traffic takes priority over road traffic and the bridge is raised approximately one thousand times a year even in this era of a quieter river. On this attractive fridge magnet Tower Bridge is portrayed as viewed from the north bank of the River Thames.
The Life And Times Of Tower Bridge
Much commercial development took place is the East End of London in the second half of the 19th century, leading to the requirement for a further crossing over the River Thames. Due to the tall-masted ships, which were common on the river at the time, a fixed bridge was not an option. After much discussion over potential designs it was eventually decided to proceed with one submitted by Sir Horace Jones whose engineer, Sir John Wolfe Barry, devised the idea of a bascule bridge for the central spans. Construction of the bridge took eight years, commencing in 1886. Four hundred and thirty two construction workers toiled on the project using seventy thousand tons of concrete on the towers and over eleven thousand tons of steel for the framework of the towers and the walkways. When Jones died in 1887 George D. Stevenson took over responsibility for the project. The original brick façade was replaced with a Victorian Gothic design intended to make it blend more easily with the nearby Tower of London. After much hard work and the spending of £1,184,000 (approximately £100 million in today’s money) Tower Bridge was opened on 30 June 1894. Since then, aside from its role as a means of crossing the River Thames the bridge has become a major feature in London tourism and has been a movie star on several occasions in features such as ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘The Mummy Returns’ and ‘The Wolfman’.
The Tower Of London
Close to Tower Bridge, on the north bank of the River Thames stands The Tower of London. Construction was instigated by William the Conqueror as part of the Norman Conquest of England; the building taking its name from the central White Tower which was erected in 1078. The Tower was expanded during the reigns of Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I arriving at the general layout present today by the end of the 13th century. Originally built as a Royal residence the Tower served as a prison from 1100, leading to the phrase ‘sent to the Tower’. Elizabeth I was held in the Tower prior to her reign. Seven people have been executed at the Tower over its long history including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard (the second and fifth wives of Henry VIII) and Lady Jane Grey (the Nine Day Queen). Executions were more commonly held at the nearby Tower Hill. A less gruesome use of the Tower, probably since the time of Henry VIII, is as a storage place for the Crown Jewels which can currently be viewed in the Waterloo Barracks at the site
Visiting Tower Bridge
A visit to Tower Bridge is a must on any visit to the English capital. Tourists can walk, drive or ride across, or maybe just sit on the banks of the River Thames and admire the view. Exhibitions take place at the bridge throughout the year and a variety of events can be seen from twilight tours, to the playing of jazz music, and food festivals. Then of course there is the raising of the bridge to allow vessels to pass through. This attractive fridge magnet available from World-wide-gifts.com Internet Store is a small piece of memorabilia to capture the essence of this world famous London landmark.