Engine Rooms

Engine Rooms

Discover our magnificent machinery in atmospheric Engine Rooms, once the beating heart of Tower Bridge. Follow the blue line to find the Engine Rooms and Shop, nestled underneath the southern approach to Tower Bridge.

Top tip: Keep your ticket as staff will need to check it on arrival to the Engine Rooms

Tower Bridge drive engine cog

Discover how the Bridge works...

Marvel at the original Victorian steam engines, coal-fired boilers, drivetrains and accumulators and learn how they work through a series of interactive displays and information panels,

Learn about the power of steam and the ingenious hydraulic technology that lifted Tower Bridge's 1,000 tonne bascules at a moment's notice until the 1970s - now maintained and preserved for visitors to enjoy.

engine room

...and the people who worked here.

From cooks to coal stokers, signal men to engineers, uncover the fascinating histories of the people who kept an icon in motion. Enjoy engaging films and oral histories, which shine a light on the dedicated, ordinary workers who kept London's defining landmark lifting for more than a century.

Before you leave, checkout the Tower Bridge shop, perfect to grab a London-themed gift, book or accessory to remember your visit.

Family look at the Engines

Engine Rooms Facts

  • More than 80 people were needed to maintain the engines and raise the Bridge. 
  • When Tower Bridge was first built, it raised between 20-30 times a day. Today it opens an average of 2-3.
  • The Bridge would use 20 tons of coal a week
  • The steam engines could raise the bascules in 60 seconds
  • In 1976, Tower Bridge switched from steam power to electricity. These original steam engines are the ones now on display in the Engine Rooms.
Sir William Armstrong. Copyright Cragside/National Trust

Sir William Armstrong

The technology behind Tower Bridge's Engine Rooms was based on an invention by Sir William Armstrong, one of the world’s most successful industrialist-engineers.

Image: Portrait of William Armstrong by Mary Lemon Waller. ©Cragside/National Trust 

Discover the beating heart of Tower Bridge

What our visitors say

'I enjoyed all of the interesting facts, but  especially the Engine Rooms. It was a fun experience for me and the kids and the staff were really helpful and friendly.' 

June 2021

‘Great very interesting and wow the Engine Rooms& were amazing. We loved it all and the staff were very nice and helpful.’

Oct 2020

‘Enjoyable visit. Lots of interesting info on display. Engine Rooms [were] particularly interesting’

Oct 2020