Site Unseen: A weekly look at London's hidden gems: The Tower Subway
Monday 25 July 1994
This was once the entrance to the Tower Subway, built in 1870 to provide a cable-car service under the Thames to Southwark. It was completed by J H Greathead in just 10 months at a fraction of the time and cost of the Brunel's earlier and ill-fated Thames Tunnel between Wapping and Rotherhithe which now forms part of the East London Underground line.
Work on the Tower Subway was hastened by the use of the 'Greathead Shield, which proved so successful that it was the forerunner of the methods used to build London's Tube system at the end of the nineteenth century.
Greathead, one of London's unsung heroes, was the engineer in charge of the King William Street to Stockwell line (now the City branch of the Northern Line), opened in 1890 as the world's first deep-level railway.
Sadly, Tower Subway was never very successful. The cable-cars were soon taken out of the tunnel, which was seven feet in diameter and more than 440 yards long, and it became a pedestrian passageway. In 1894 the subway was made redundant by the walkway incorporated into the new Tower Bridge. Today all the subway contains are water mains for the Thames Water Authority.
Life & Style blogs
This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin: How I outwitted the Gestapo
Tinder Plus: premium service launches, charging much more for those over 28
Running test reveals whether you will die in the next decade
Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
this is an unpaid voluntary position: Circles South East Youth Service: LOOKIN...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading privately owned sp...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...
£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...