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?

Tower Bridge Secret History

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.

Tower Bridge Secret History

As you’re walking along the bridge, keep a close eyes on this line of lamps. One of them is an imposter!

Tower Bridge Secret History

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 Secret History

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But why?

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.

Tower Bridge Secret History

And you can spot the unique feature from the wharf too!

Tower Bridge Secret History

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.

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Tower Bridge Secret History

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