Tower Bridge Chimney – London, England - Atlas Obscura

London, England

Tower Bridge Chimney

An architectural oddity hides in plain sight on this iconic London bridge. 

Tower Bridge is one of London’s most recognizable sights. But unknown to many is an unusual feature that often goes unnoticed.

Take a good look at the lampposts lining the iconic piece of infrastructure, and you’ll realize one isn’t a lamppost at all. It’s a chimney, painted a bright blue to match the lampposts, just without a light on top. 

The seemingly out-of-place chimney is a relic of London’s industrial past. The cast-iron flue used to be connected to a coal fire in a room tucked underneath one of the bridge piers, where the guards on duty could warm up. 

After the Clean Air Act of 1956, only smokeless fuels were allowed to be burned in central London, and so the chimney went unused. Yet to this day it remains inconspicuously stood among the lampposts, passed unnoticed by over 40,000 people daily.

Know Before You Go

The chimney can be found on the north bank of Tower Bridge on the Tower of London side. Tower Hill station can be accessed from the District and Circle lines to the north side of the Bridge.

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