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who designed the london bridge?

who designed the london bridge?

who designed the london bridge?.

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who designed the london bridge?
who designed the london bridge?





London Bridge, any of several successive structures spanning the River Thames between Borough High Street in Southwark and King William Street in the City of London.

A brief history

Built between 1886 and 1894, the Bridge has spent more than a century as London’s defining landmark, an icon of London and the United Kingdom.

Discover the historical events that led to the Bridge’s construction, how Tower Bridge was built, and how it lifts the road for river traffic as well as some of the key and quirky events from the Bridge’s history.

Looking to find out more about the Bridge? Discover more of Tower Bridge’s history when you see inside Tower Bridge.


Old London Bridge

The Old London Bridge of nursery rhyme fame dates from 1176, when Peter of Colechurch, a priest and chaplain of St. Mary’s of Colechurch, began construction of the foundation. Replacing a timber bridge (one of several built in late Roman and early medieval times), Peter’s structure was the first great stone arch bridge built in Britain. It was to consist of 19 pointed arches, each with a span of approximately 7 metres (24 feet), built on piers 6 metres (20 feet) wide; a 20th opening was designed to be spanned by a wooden drawbridge.


The stone foundations of the piers were built inside cofferdams made by driving timber piles into the riverbed; these in turn were surrounded by starlings (loose stone filling enclosed by piles). As a result of obstructions encountered during pile driving, the span of the constructed arches actually varied from 5 to 10 metres (15 to 34 feet).

New London Bridge

For the new structure, Rennie proposed five semielliptical stone arches, with the central span reaching 46 metres (150 feet), the next two 43 metres (140 feet), and the two shore spans 40 metres (130 feet). Rennie died in 1821 before work began, and the job was left to his two sons.


George Rennie had actually made the design in 1820, but construction was conducted under John Rennie, Jr., beginning in 1824. In 1831 King William IV and Queen Adelaide arrived by water to celebrate the opening of the new bridge. Demolition of the ancient structure began that year, and by 1832 it disappeared, having served 622 years.

who designed the london bridge?
who designed the london bridge?

Rennie’s bridge survived less than 140 years. Between 1968 and 1971 its facing stone was dismantled and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S. state of Arizona, where it was reerected on a five-span core of reinforced concrete to serve as a tourist attraction at the resort town of Lake Havasu City. The New London Bridge now crosses Lake Havasu behind Parker Dam, 155 miles (250 km) south of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.

Modern London Bridge

The current London Bridge, built between 1968 and 1972, replaced Rennie’s stone arches with beams of prestressed concrete reaching 104 metres (340 feet) in the central span.

Construction was carried out using the cantilever method, with segments being built outward from two piers, each segment tied to the previous one by high-strength steel tendons. In the centre the two cantilevers did not meet but stopped short, leaving a space into which the builders placed a concrete beam to complete the span.


The design represents a major post-World War II innovation in bridge engineering, but the bridge itself is not of great historical significance.


Choosing the design for a new river crossing

A huge challenge faced the City of London Corporation – how to build a bridge downstream from London Bridge without disrupting river traffic activities. To generate ideas, the Special Bridge or Subway Committee was formed in 1876, and a public competition was launched to find a design for the new crossing.

Over 50 designs were submitted to the Committee for consideration, some of which are on display at Tower Bridge. It wasn’t until October 1884 however, that Sir Horace Jones, the City Architect, in collaboration with John Wolfe Barry, offered the chosen design for Tower Bridge as a solution.

Building the Bridge

It took eight years, five major contractors and the relentless labour of 432 construction workers each day to build Tower Bridge under the watchful eye of Sir John Wolfe Barry.

who designed the london bridge?
who designed the london bridge?

Two massive piers were built on foundations sunk into the riverbed to support the construction, and over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the Towers and Walkways. This framework was clad in Cornish Granite and Portland Stone to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the Bridge a more pleasing appearance.

How it works

When it was built, Tower Bridge was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever completed (‘bascule’ comes from the French word for ‘seesaw’). These bascules were operated by hydraulics, using steam to power the enormous pumping engines. The energy created was stored in six massive accumulators, meaning that as soon as power was required to lift the Bridge, it was always readily available. The accumulators fed the driving engines, which drove the bascules up and down. Despite the complexity of the system, the bascules only took about a minute to raise to their maximum angle of 86 degrees. Find out more about this process.

Today, the bascules are still operated by hydraulic power, but since 1976 they have been driven by oil and electricity rather than steam. The original pumping engines, accumulators and boilers are now on display within Tower Bridge’s Engine Rooms.

Key dates

1886 – The construction of Tower Bridge began on 22 April.

1894 – Tower Bridge was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales with great celebrations, on 30 June.

1910 – The high-level Walkways, which were designed so that the public could still cross the Bridge when it was raised, were closed due to lack of use.

1912 – During a stunt, Frank McClean flew between the bascules and the high-level Walkways in his Short seaplane. He then proceeded to fly under at least three other bridges on his way to Westminster.

1952 – The number 78 London bus driven by Albert Gunter on its way across the Bridge, had to leap from one bascule to the other when the Bridge began to rise.

1976 – Tower Bridge switches to electrified hydraulics, rather than the steam-driven system it was originally powered by.

1977 – Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The original colour of the Bridge was a chocolate brown colour.

1982 – Tower Bridge opened to the public for the first time since 1910, with a permanent exhibition inside called The Tower Bridge Experience.

2012 – Playing a focal point in the London Olympics, this year saw the Olympic rings suspended from the Walkways, and James Bond and ‘the Queen’ fly through in a helicopter  during the Opening Ceremony.


who designed the london bridge?
who designed the london bridge?



who made the london bridge fall down


Some scholars believe that the English nursery rhyme tells the story of a Viking attack, while others think it’s about human sacrifice.

Library of CongressA group of school girls play the London Bridge game in 1898.

Many of us are so familiar with the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down” that we could sing it in our sleep. We remember playing the London Bridge game in the schoolyard with our friends, chanting the tune, and trying not to get caught as the “arch” fell down.

But if you’re unfamiliar with the sing-song story, here are some of the lyrics:

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.

Off to prison you must go,
You must go, you must go;
Off to prison you must go,
My fair lady.

While the tune of this classic nursery rhyme sounds playful and the game might appear innocent, there are some sinister theories about where it originated from — and what it’s really about.

So what is the true meaning of “London Bridge Is Falling Down?” Let’s take a look at some of the disturbing possibilities.

Who wrote ‘London Bridge Is Falling Down?’

Wiki CommonsA page from Tommy Thumbs Pretty Song Book published in 1744 that shows the beginning of “London Bridge Is Falling Down.”

While the song was first published as a nursery rhyme in the 1850s, many experts believe that “London Bridge Is Falling Down” dates back to the medieval era and possibly even before that.

who designed the london bridge?
who designed the london bridge?

According to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, similar rhymes have been discovered across Europe in places such as Germany, — “Die Magdeburger Brück”— Denmark, — “Knippelsbro Går Op og Ned”— and France — “pont chus.”

It wasn’t until 1657 that the rhyme was first referenced in England during the comedy The London Chaunticleres, and the full rhyme wasn’t published until 1744 when it made its debut in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book.


Tower Bridge used to have its own stables and horses

When Tower Bridge first opened, in 1894, there was concern that some horses may not be strong enough to pull their carts up the incline to the Bridge. In order to prevent potential traffic problems and keep London moving, Tower Bridge kept its own horses on site, coming to the rescue when needed.

Random Posts


Tower Bridge was the birthplace of the parachute regiment

In 1917, Thomas Hans Orde-Lees jumped off Tower Bridge with a homemade parachute. He wanted to demonstrate its effectiveness at low altitudes to the Royal Air Force. They must have been impressed as this has been credited as where the parachute regiment began.


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