Photo by John Smith / Pexels

Launching a Landmark – Tower Bridge to celebrate 130 years with exhibition of never-before-seen photography

On 22 June, London’s defining landmark, Tower Bridge announces free, summer-long exhibition: Launching A Landmark: The Unseen Opening Weeks. The new exhibition, will showcase a collection of never-before-seen photography from the Bridge’s final few weeks of construction and public opening 130 years ago in 1894, featuring the workers of the Bridge and members of the public.

The striking photography which will feature throughout the exhibition was unseen and undocumented until recently discovered by the Molineux family, descendants of Tower Bridge resident engineer, Edward Cruttwell. An insightful contrast to the grand depictions of the Bridge’s Royal opening, the exhibition images focus on the workers in the final weeks of its creation, and the ordinary Londoners and members of the public who came to use the new Bridge for the first time.

Patrick Molineux, Cruttwell’s great grandson who discovered the photographs, said, “My mother had stored the photos for decades in an archive box, and we were pleasantly shocked to discover that they’d never been seen publicly. It’s always been a source of pride for our family to have such a connection to an icon like Tower Bridge so we couldn’t quite believe that we’d discovered such a piece of history. We can’t wait to see them on display and to bring the rich history to life with the exhibition.”

Chris Earlie, Tower Bridge Director, added, “‘Launching A Landmark: The Unseen Opening Weeks’ is like nothing we’ve staged at the Bridge before. Having newly unearthed photography and innovative digital content is incredibly exciting, and the team here has worked hard to be able to tell the personal stories of the diverse workers and local communities too. We’re proud to be celebrating the workers who helped build Tower Bridge and the Londoners who were the first to cross it with local communities at a free, open-air exhibition this summer.”

Launching A Landmark: The Unseen Opening Weeks will open on Saturday 22 June and will run until September. People can also enjoy a brand new website experience and a series of to-be-announced video content that will delve into London life130 years ago. For more information, please visit