Above: View of Tower Bridge using a high-power zoom from Elephant Stairs.
The view was taken taken on 20 April 2013 from a vantage point some distance down-river of Tower Bridge known as Elephant Stairs. At this point it is possible take a picture at right-angles to the alignment of the bridge itself.
Beside the Thames were many stairs, usually made of stone, which acted as points where watermen could gain access to the Thames. Many of the stairs acted as boarding points of passengers, from the 16th century onwards, to be rowed up- or down-river in small rowing boats called wherries. Many of the stairs remain in the same position that they occupied several centuries earlier. Why a set of stairs should be named after an elephant has never been explained.
As well as the view of Tower Bridge, we can also see the solitary office block (to the left of the bridge) called Centre Point. It is situated at the eastern end of Oxford Street. Looking through the centre of the bridge, the faint outline of the tall narrow structure is the BT Tower (also called Post Office Tower), behind Tottenham Court Road. In the centre of the bridge are the twin towers of the Victorian exterior of Cannon Street Station. The interesting collection of vessels towards the right are to be seen at Hermitage Moorings, at Wapping.