Virtually Tour London Landmarks
Fun Facts about Tower Bridge in London:
- Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1984 and is London’s most famous must-see landmark.
- Work on Tower Bridge began on April 22, 1886.
- The bridge took eight years to build.
- Tower Bridge has been opening for ships since 1894, and those bascules open and close around 1,000 times per year.
- The total cost of the bridge was 1,184,000 pounds, equivalent to 124 million today.
- Before Tower Bridge was opened, the only way to cross the Thames was via an underground tunnel. It was called the Tower Subway and it cost 1 penny to cross.
- Over 70,000 tons of concrete were sunk on the bed of the River Thames to support the bridge.
- Over 11,000 tons of steel was used to provide the framework for the towers and walkways.
- Tower Bridge is one of five London Bridges.
- Tower bridge was paid for by the Bridge House Estates, so no taxpayer money was used.
- In December 1952, a bus driver (of a double-decker bus) accelerated across the bridge when it was open jumping to the other side.
Learn more about Tower Bridge at these fun links!
Fun Facts about Big Ben in London:
- Big Ben was completed in 1859.
- The hour hand is 9 feet long.
- The minute hand is 14 feet long.
- 312 pieces of glass make up the face of the clock.
- The tower has four clock faces.
- Big Ben weighs about 13 tons, the same weight as an elephant.
- There are 344 steps to the clock tower.
- Although it is not certain, it is purported that Big Ben got its name one of two ways: It may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall (1802-1867) who commissioned the work of the bell, or Benjamin Caunt (1815-1861) who was a heavyweight bareknuckle boxing champion.
Learn more about Big Ben at these fun links!
- Tour inside Big Ben
- Chimes 2
- Silent Ben
- How does Big Ben keep time reliably?
- Another virtual tour