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Tower Bridge: What might have been

17th October 2016 • Tower Bridge Blog

Tower Bridge: What might have been

In the late 1800s, London was growing rapidly and getting busier and the city desperately needed a new Thames crossing. In 1876, a competition was launched to design a new crossing situated next to the Tower of London, aptly dubbed “Tower Bridge”.

Over 50 designs were submitted, including low level bridges, which would have blocked the trade ships from passing underneath; duplex bridges with a lock gate system allowing road and river access simultaneously; and bridges with a rolling road, opening to let ships through. Even the winning design for Tower Bridge looked very different to the Tower Bridge we know today, boasting a big arch where the high-level Walkways are now located (pictured above).

You can see some of these alternative designs on display inside Tower Bridge but it’s hard to imagine any of these alternative designs being as loved as our Tower Bridge. We think she’s great, just as she is!

Sophie. Education and Marketing Assistant 

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