The Tower Bridge Exhibition is housed within one of London’s most famous landmarks, and provides a fascinating insight to the area’s history and creativity through art, artifacts and awe-inspiring views across the city.
There are few bridges in the world so iconic as London’s Tower Bridge. Two grandiose towers dominate its appearance, glowing at night against the mystical blue clouds of dawn and drizzling fragmented reflections into the Thames. It’s one of those sites that let’s you feel closer to the heart of the city and it’s past, having been opened officially in 1894 by The Prince of Wales. It also inspires with what’s inside. The charismatic structure includes high-level walkways that sit 42 meters above the River Thames and provide not only incredible views across London but the opportunity to see some fantastic art, and unusual artifacts too.
When visiting most famous bridges you expect to take some pictures, and gaze in awe for a while. The Tower Bridge Exhibition allows guests to become much more immersed in their visit though, connecting with Tower Bridge’s history and feeling far from any distractions in such a remarkable location. Once you enter there’s an educational animated video about the history of the Bridge and its construction. This is the perfect introduction to its importance.
Next, there are various walkways to peruse. In the East Walkway there is the photography exhibition, ‘Great Bridges of the World’, which contains over 20 different bridges and will have you marveling at the engineering craft that went into building them. Whether or not you’re interested in the construction or appearance of bridges, this is the chance to see some landmarks in a far more detailed light, taking the chance to really admire the skill of their design.
The exhibitions within each walkway are all different from one another, which is great as they span the different personalities of London and also mean there’s likely to be something appealing for everyone. Currently there is a new exhibition along the West Walkway entitled ‘The Sixties’. For those that have a fascination and nostalgia for such iconic decades, this will be the perfect attraction. Over 60 photographs of muses like Twiggy, actors like Michael Caine and events such as the FIFA World Cup are all included, together acting like a portal to the ambience of the decade, and at the same time highlighting how it developed and became such an innovative period of time.
There’s also the chance to experience the history of Tower Bridge in a more sensory way, as you can visit the Victorian Engine Rooms and become captivated amongst their inner workings, with the sounds and smells of original lifting machinery, feeling as though you’re getting to see an intimate aspect of London’s history. A recently added exhibition entitled, ‘Art at the Bridge #5’ is also housed within the Engine Rooms, and such a powerfully historical atmosphere really adds to the impact of the exhibition’s visuals.
Art at the Bridge #5 is in collaboration with the Southwark Arts Forum, a local arts charity, and expresses Tower Bridge’s desire to exhibit and support local talent. There are 10 works by disabled artists, which focus on the theme of ‘Connections’. It’s interactive too, as visitors can vote for their favourite piece and in doing so contribute towards the deciding of a winner, who will get to raise Tower Bridge. It’s in this way that the Tower Bridge Exhibition is not only a place to realise history and see some eye catching things, but also to showcase creativity.
For those feeling tired, confused, or lost amongst the rush of the city and wanting to find somewhere quiet and interesting to hide out for a while, this is the place to be. The Bridge as an attraction has brought many people from all over the world together over the decades and inside the exhibition is a reflection of this, with a diverse and vibrant selection of things to do and see, all of which capture various aspects of London’s rich mixture of narratives and inhabitants. All the while, its location high above the Thames, with the vision of St Paul’s Cathedral and St Katherine Docks in the distance makes this an exhibition unlike any other.
Tickets to the Tower Bridge Exhibition can be purchased on the day at the ticket office in the North West Tower or online. It is open from 10am to 6pm in the summer (from April to September) and from 9.30am to 5.30pm in the winter (October to March). If you’re thinking of visiting soon, then it’s also worth noting that it’s Tower Bridge’s 120th anniversary this year, so there’s never been a better time to go!