Hiding In Plain Sight: Tower Bridge’s Secret History
Sure, it’s a London icon. But did you know Tower Bridge is hiding some secret history in plain sight?
To get to the mystery you have to take a closer look at the bright blue lampposts. Specifically the ones of the North bank, Tower of London side.
As you’re walking along the bridge, keep a close eyes on this line of lamps. One of them is an imposter!
Can you spot the odd one out?
The blue post on the right is nothing but a fraud. I’m sorry if this ruins the aesthetic for you, because once it’s spotted it can never be unseen!
Tower Bridge was only opened in 1894 (younger than it looks right?) and those sneaky Victorians were attempting to disguise a cast-iron chimney.
It used to be connected to a coal fire in the Royal Fusiliers room, who could warm up there while on guard duty. But after the Clean Air Act of 1956 was passed – allowing only smokeless fuels to be burned in certain, central areas – the chimney went unused.
You can still get a sense of these rooms if you walk under the bridge today.
And you can spot the unique feature from the wharf too!
Now it’s above the Perkin Reveller, a restaurant named after the protagonist of Chaucer’s ‘Cooks Tale’ in the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer is most famous as a poet today, but in his lifetime he was clerk of the King’s Works 1389-91 and was responsible for the construction of the Tower Wharf.
Watch My Video for More Tower Bridge Facts
More London Inspiration
Nestled behind the Bank of England you can find St Margaret Lothbury. It’s easy to miss, hemmed in by other buildings, but if open it’s well worth popping in to admire its treasures and history. (I’ve previously written about the beautiful Italianate building next door,......
Within the extensive grounds of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire you can find remnants of inspiration for one of London’s most extraordinary buildings, The Crystal Palace. It gave its name to an area of London (and a football team!) but thanks to a disastrous fire you......
Have you admired this dolls house-esque building on Tower Hill? This is Trinity House, an institution whose history stretches back to 1514, based here since 1794. What is Trinity House? Today Trinity House is a charity and its primary concern is the safety of shipping......
For the everyday passerby, there’s not much reason to venture into Strand Lane. It’s not a convenient cut through to the Strand however it has two quite amazing bits of history to discover! I’ve previously covered one of them on the blog, the history of......
As part of my new walking tour Hidden Wonders of Waterloo I’ve been researching the history of Surrey Chapel, an 18th century church that once stood by Southwark Station. Although it no longer stands today, it’s a prime example of the historic twists and turns......
Transport a 12th century monk to Aldgate today and there’s very little that they’d recognise. However inside this office block you can find a tiny part of an epic Medieval Priory where they’d feel right at home! If you’re passing 77 Leadenhall Street, peer through......