‘Two Towers’ permanent Exhibition to be Unveiled in June 2018 at Tower Bridge: A celebration of the unsung heroes of the Bridge

  • Two Towers’ to be unveiled in June 2018 commemorating the unsung heroes of Tower Bridge
  • Stories of the individuals who built and designed the iconic Bridge explored in North and South Towers interpretation 

Climb the famous blue, red and white towers of Tower Bridge this summer for a chance tomeet the architects, makers, thinkers and technicians who designed, built and laid the very foundations of London’s most defining landmark. 

To commemorate the living legacy of one of London’s best-loved symbols, Tower Bridge will unveil the second phase of a three-year redevelopment that focuses on the human history behind the Bridge. Housed in the North and South Towers that link the high-level Walkways high above the River Thames, this continued celebration of the unsung heroes behind the Bridge will uncover fascinating stories from the lifetime of Tower Bridge from 1886 through to the present day.

Visitors will be able to meet the architects, engineers and workers that built and kept Tower Bridge running and uncoverthe hair-raising episode of the exceptionally unlucky merchant ship Monte Urquiola, which collided with the Bridge not once…but a record three times over the course of a decade. There is a chance to try on a real-life Victorian divers helmet to discover what life was like as a diver in 1886 and meet Samuel Friend Penny, who as head of the divers, risked life and limb to dig the vast foundations that anchor the 70,000-ton weight of the Bridge to the bottom of the Thames. The name of this fearless diver will be unveiled on a commemorative bronze plaque in the South Tower, as a permanent tribute to the extraordinary bravery of the team. 

Following ongoing historic research, the permanent exhibition will feature archive footage of the Bridge under construction alongside never-before-seen photographs of workers and unique objects; taking visitors through the lifetime of the Bridge, from its conception and construction right through to present day. The new content will also explore the extraordinary engineering feats achieved during construction of the crossing, detailing the technical accomplishment of sinking the vast steel foundations into the riverbed through interactive displays and original objects from the lifespan of the Bridge. 

As phase two of a wider-three year plan to develop Tower Bridge’s interpretation, following the kick-off redevelopment of the Engine Rooms in Spring 2017, human stories will continue to form an integral theme that units the different elements of the Bridge. 

Dirk Bennett, Exhibition Development Manager at Tower Bridge, says: “After the launch of the newly developed Engine Rooms last spring, we’re really excited to unveil the next phase of the redevelopment with the Two Towers and uncover further stories frothe history of the Bridge. The redevelopment of the Bridge is the perfect celebration of the capital’s cultural heritage. It unites past and present London together with the special place Tower Bridge holds in the historical fabric of the city.” 

If you have any historical connection to Tower Bridge, the team is on the look out for people to share their remarkable stories for inclusion in the on-going Bridge archive, Get in touch: people@towerbridge.org.uk 


Notes to Editors:

Tower Bridge (http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/)


  • Tower Bridge was the creation of architect Sir Horace Jones and civil engineer Sir John Wolfe Barry. It took eight years to complete and was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra)

o  Summer Opening Hours: April - September 10:00 - 17:30 (last admission)

o  Winter Opening Hours: October - March 09:30 - 17:00 (last admission) 

  • Admission prices for Tower Bridge
    • Adults: £9.80
    • Children aged 5-15: £4.20 
    • Groups of 10 or more adults: £8.30
    • Concessions: £6.80 
    • Family tickets from £15.30 
    • Under 5s free
  • The nearest underground stations are London Bridge or Tower Hill 
  •  Visit the Glass Floor up on the high-level Walkways, which gives visitors a unique perspective of London 42 metres above the Thames. “Look up on London” – a mirror installed over the West Walkway’s Glass Floor offers visitors a dizzying experience of the city. Guests are able to tread on the glass floor panels whilst traffic passes beneath their feet. It can withstand the weight equivalent to one elephant or two London Black Cabs.
  • Download the Family Trail appto explore Tower Bridge like never before with an innovative app and activity packed booklet for 5-10 year olds. 
  • Offering refreshed collections and bespoke ranges of gifts and souvenirs, the Tower Bridge Gift Shop reopened to the public in November 2016 following a 6-week redevelopment.  In 2018 the shop won the Museums + Heritage Award for ‘Best shop with a turnover more than £500k’. Now in its 16thyear, the Museums + Heritage Awards recognise projects of excellence, and innovative groundbreaking initiatives from galleries and visitor attractions from across the globe.
  • Winner of the 2016 Sandford Award for Heritage Education. This prestigious award recognizes the importance of formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools by heritage sites.
  • Tower Bridge is recognised as the most famous bridge in the world and generates over £3m a year for the benefit of City Bridge Trust.
  • One of only 20 UK attractions to receive the Visit England Gold Attractions Accolade in 2018. The accolade recognises quality visitor experiences on offer and is awarded to attractions that go the extra mile to provide a high quality day out.
  • Tower Bridge is owned, funded and managed by theCity of London Corporation. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
  • The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Tower Bridge, invests over £100m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of cultural activities after the government, the BBC, and Heritage Lottery Fund.  The City Corporation is also developing Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate – a multi-million-pound investment which will create a new cultural and creative destination for London over the next 10 to 15 years. This includes £110m funding to support the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £2.5m to support the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music.