Tower bridge open compAt 11am on Saturday 19 June, the Thames Gateway Prayernet will be meeting at the crack on Tower Bridge to intercede for London.

The intercessors – who come from Essex, Kent and parts of London – will be listening to hear what the ‘windwords’ might be saying.

An iconic landmark, the Bridge is one of the most easily recognisable on the Thames and a literal symbol of a gateway into the City.

We will also be praying at the Tower of London, also an iconic historic site that carries with it all the historical baggage of kingship, conquest, empire, imprisonment, execution, murder and treasure.

Whenever the Thames Gateway Prayernetters gather to pray, interesting, unusual, amazing, exciting  and awesome God things happen. Just read some of the previous reports on the Transformation Thurrock website and you’ll see.

So if you’d like to join the TGP on the 19th, please contact Tim Harrold on 07 929 878 089 or

Tower Bridge facts

Tower Bridge is named after its proximity to the Tower of London, not because of its distinctive towers. Construction started in 1886 and took eight years to complete.

Two massive piers, containing over 70,000 tons of concrete were sunk into the riverbed to support the construction. Over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the towers and walkways. This was then clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone, both to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the bridge a pleasing appearance.

PICT1392The original brick facade was replaced with the more ornate Victorian Gothic style, which makes the bridge a distinctive landmark, and was intended to harmonise the bridge with the nearby Tower of London. The total cost of construction was £1,184,000 (£100 million today). The bridge was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII).

The bridge connected Iron Gate, on the north bank of the river, with Horsleydown Lane, on the south – now known as Tower Bridge Approach and Tower Bridge Road, respectively.

The bridge is 800 feet (244 m) in length with two towers each 213 feet (65 m) high, built on piers. The central span of 200 feet (61 m) between the towers is split into two equal bascules or leaves, which can be raised to an angle of 83 degrees to allow river traffic to pass. The bascules, weighing over 1,000 tons each, are counterbalanced to minimise the force required and allow raising in five minutes. The two side-spans are suspension bridges, each 270 feet (82 m) long, with the suspension rods anchored both at the abutments and through rods contained within the bridge’s upper walkways. The pedestrian walkways are 143 feet (44 m) above the river at high tide.

The original raising mechanism was powered by pressurised water stored in several hydraulic accumulators. In 1974, the original operating mechanism was largely replaced by a new electro-hydraulic drive system.

Tower of London facts

PICT1395The Tower of London is often identified with the White Tower, the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1077. However, the tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.

The Tower served as a fortress, a royal palace and a prison (particularly for high status and royal prisoners, such as the Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I). This last use has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower” (meaning imprisoned). It has also served as a place of execution and torture, an armoury, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.


  • Top: Tower Bridge opens – taken by Gary Seithel of the TGP, during the Thames Prayer Day in October 2008.
  • Middle: Tower Bridge taken by Tim Harrold, during the Thames Gateway Prayer Day on board the Princess Pocahontas in September 2009.
  • Bottom: The Tower, taken on the same trip.