• Tower Bridge is to open its doors after hours to host a series of one-off talks to celebrate 125 years of history
  • Each event explores 125 years of history through the eyes of an expert
  • Takes place across September-December
  • Arrive: 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start. Each event lasts approximately 1 hour
  • Events take place in the brand new Learning Space  based in the high up inside the iconic South Tower 
  • Limited availability 

Tower Bridge, London’s defining landmark, is opening its doors after hours for an exclusive series of one-off talks: all from one of the capital’s most famous river crossings. 

 From a chance to sample Victorian delicacies to a special screening of the 1959 screen classic The Boy on the Bridge, the series will illustrate 125 years of history alongside fascinating tales behind the people at the heart of one of the capital’s best-loved landmarks.

Held in Tower Bridge’s brand new Learning Space, the talks form part of the year-long 125th anniversary celebration that saw record-breaking visitors to the Bridge in June.

Illuminated River Project

  • Thursday 5 September 2019
  • £20 per person (includes a welcome drink and a return ticket to visit Tower Bridge within 12 months)
  • Arrive: 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start

The Illuminated River Project is a London wide public art commission that will transform the capital at night, lighting up 15 bridges across the River Thames. Once complete, the project will be the longest public art project in the world, seen over 130 million times a year during its record 10-year lifespan. Join Director Sarah Gaventa and Project Architect Chris Waite at the Bridge to explore the ambitious decade-long public art project and how Tower Bridge will shine in its role. 

Sir Horace Jones and the Architecture of Tower Bridge

  • Thursday 12 September 2019
  • £20 per person (includes a welcome drink and a return ticket to visit Tower Bridge within 12 months)
  • Arrive: 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start

Dr Jennifer Freeman, architectural historian and writer, and a specialist in ‘at risk’ conservation buildings will guide guests through the extraordinary life of Tower Bridge architect Sir Horace Jones. A specialist on the man behind a number of London’s most iconic buildings, including Smithfield Market and Billingsgate Market, Jennifer will not only explore Jones’ legacy and his innovations as a designer and planner, but the architectural marvel Tower Bridge remains as to this day.  

Tower Bridge Eats: Cooking and Dining with the Denizens of Tower Bridge in 1894

  • Thursday 17 October 2019
  • £20 per person (includes a welcome drink and a return ticket to visit Tower Bridge within 12 months)
  • Arrive: 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start

Don your kitchen whites and test your taste buds to explore the past century through an exclusive tasting talk with food historian Dr Annie Gray. Dr. Gray will take foodies on a whistle-stop tour of 125 years of gastronomic history at Tower Bridge. 

An Illustrated Construction of Tower Bridge

  • Thursday 7 November 2019
  • £20 per person (includes a welcome drink and a return ticket to visit Tower Bridge within 12 months)
  • Arrive: 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start

From the fanciful to the downright farcical, explore some of the alternative river crossing designs presented to the City of London’s special committee in 1876. Tom Furber, Engagement and Learning Officer with the City of London Corporation’s London Metropolitan Archives, offers a fascinating insight into some of the weird and whacky designs submitted for the design competition, as well as the ground-breaking construction of Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge & the Thames on Film

  • Thursday 5 December 2019
  • £20 per person (includes a welcome drink and a return ticket to visit Tower Bridge within 12 months)
  • Arrive: 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start. Please note this event will finish later due to the film screening

This illustrated talk by British Film Institute curator Simon McCallum will give a flavour of the BFI National Archive’s unparalleled collection of film and TV about London, with a particular focus on life along the Thames. Drawing on a rich array of newsreel footage, documentaries and home movies, this archive tour will include glimpses of the majestic Bridge itself across the past century. These films are part of the Britain on Film initiative, with thousands of newly digitised titles from the BFI and partner archives around the UK now free to explore on BFI Player. Simon’s talk will be complemented by a screening of the classic 1959 film The Boy on The Bridge, made possible by the estate of Director Kevin McClory. 

Tickets are £20 per person and can be booked now through

Talks will take place in the Tower Bridge Learning Space. 


Notes to Editors: 

Sarah Gaventa M.A. (RCA), is a public space and place-making expert who recently founded Made Public projects. She has been chair of the Elephant & Castle Regeneration Forum for the past five years and was the interim Director of the Architecture Foundation. Sarah was the director of CABE Space from 2006 until 2011; she was also the Director of Seachange, a £40 million capital programme for the cultural regeneration of seaside resorts. In 2010 Sarah was made an Honorary Fellow of the Landscape Institute for her outstanding contribution to landscape. She is the author of New Public Spaces.

Chris Waite MEng, BArch, ARBis Associate Director of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Chrisworked as a façade engineer before completing his architectural training at the University of Liverpool.  Since joining Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in 2005 he has worked on many retail, office, residential and mixed-use developments in the U.K. and abroad, at all design stages. The broad nature of his experience suitably qualified him to lead the architectural team working with the American artist Leo Villareal to deliver the Illuminated River, one of the most prodigious public art and public realm schemes ever conceived.   

Jennifer Freeman is an architectural historian and writer. A specialist in building conservation, she runs her own small development company that concentrates on listed buildings considered ‘at risk’, she was also Director of the Historic Chapels Trust from 1992-2012. Jennifer has a long involvement with the City of London and was co-author and project coordinator of Save the City, a Conservation Study of the City of London.  She wrote a thesis on Sir Horace Jones, and is considered a specialist on the historic architect, giving evidence in a number of public inquiries in the City, including those that saved Billingsgate Market and Smithfield Market.

Dr Annie Gray is one of Britain’s leading food historians. She works as a consultant, broadcaster, writer and speaker, specialising in food and dining from c.1650 to 1950. Her voice will be familiar from Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, and her face from many TV documentaries, including Victorian BakersVictoria and Albert: The Wedding andJames Martin’s Saturday Morning. She is the author ofThe Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria, and the forthcoming book Victory in the Kitchen: The Story of Churchill’s Cook.

Tom FurberEngagement and Learning Office with the City of London Corporation’s London Metropolitan Archives, where he delivers regular talks on the history of London’s people and places.

Simon McCallum is Archive Projects Curator at the BFI. Working across the BFI’s digital platforms, and with filmmakers on special events, Simon is passionate about bringing the riches of the BFI National Archive to a wider audience.