The Tower Bridge, London, England
The Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894. It crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and is one of five London bridges owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust founded in 1282. The bridge was constructed to give better access to the east End of London. The bridge opened in 1894.
The bridge as become a recognizable London landmark and sometimes confused with London Bridge, about 1/2 mile upstream, which has led to an urban legend about an American purchasing the wrong bridge.
The bridge was damaged during WWII, as it was a major transport link to the Port of London. The high-level span took a direct hit, severing the hydraulic mechanism and taking the bridge out of action. In 1941 a parachute mine exploded close to the bridge, causing serious damage to the bascule, towers and engine room. In 1942 a third engine was installed in case the existing ones were damaged by enemy action. In 1974, the original operating mechanism was largely replaced by a new electro-hydraulic drive system.
We were fortunate enough to enjoy watching the bridge raised as we were on our River Thames Cruise.