London Bridge Opens

London Bridge is a bridge on the River Thames, between the City of London and Southwark. It is also flanked by Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge.

What does it connect?

The western end of the Pool of London is connected to the bridge.

History of London Bridge

  • London Bridge is one of the most famous bridge emplacements in the world. It was the only bridge on the river Thames until Westminster Bridge was constructed in 1750.
  • Southwark Cathedral and London Bridge station is on the southern side of the bridge whereas the Monument to the Great Fire of London and Monument tube station is on the northern side.
  • The bridge is a part of the A3 road and the Greater London Authority is responsible for the maintenance of the road.
  • The bridge also looks after maintained and independent charity overseen by the City of London Corporation.

Architecture of London Bridge

  • The old London Bridge had 20 small arches and a drawbridge with a shielding gatehouse at the southern end.
  • Contemporary pictures show it crammed full with buildings of up to seven stories in height.

Past of London Bridge

  • The constricted arches worked as dam over the river.
  • It used to restrict the water flow by freezing in winter because of the slower currents.
  • The current was further used to drive water pumps, and to power grain mills.
  • This produced difference between the water levels on each as much as six feet. Some bold people attempted pushing a boat between the starlings and many were drowned trying to do so.
  • The bridge was about twenty six feet wide.
  • The buildings o the street projected another seven feet out over the river.
  • Therefore, the space for the commuters was reduced to just twelve feet.
  • As a result the pedestrians, horses, carts and wagons all shared the same passage way just six feet wide.
  • It was difficult for people to get out of the traffic and enjoy the river glimpse and the shorelines of London.
  • By the end of the 18th century, the old London Bridge was getting 600 years old and needed to be replaced
  • It was constricted, frail, and blocked river traffic.
  • In 1799, a competition of designs for the substitution the old bridge was held.
  • It was engineer, Thomas Telford who recommended a bridge with a single iron arch straddling 600 ft. but this design was never used and the bridge was eventually replaced by a structure of five stone arches, designed by engineer John Rennie.
  • The new bridge was built 100 feet at a cost of £2,000,000. It was completed by Rennie's son in seven-years starting from 1824 and ending in 1831. In 1831, the old bridge was demolished after the new bridge opened.
  • The contractors involved in building the bridge were Jolliffe and Banks of Merstham, Surrey. A portion from the old bridge is laid down into the tower arch of the St Katherines Church, Merstham.

Modern London Bridge

  • The latest design of the modern London Bridge was proposed by Mott, Hay and Anderson.
  • The senior supervisor was Alan Simpson.
  • The structure was designed by Michael Leeming and his team and another team led by Keith Ponting.
  • The contractors were John Mowlem and Co.
  • It was built in five years from 1967 to 1972. The bridge was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 March 1973.
  • It was approximately of 928 feet or 283 m long.
  • The lights were made up of Napoleon’s cannons.
  • The bridge was is noticeably less decorated than other
  • Thames bridges to make it tougher and long lasting.
  • The City Bridge Trust charity donated £4 million in the construction.

Damage on London Bridge

Unfortunately in 1984, the British warship HMS Jupiter had collision with London Bridge causing considerable damage to both ship and bridge.

London Bridge- A Place for amusement

  • The modern London Bridge is often part of shoots of films, news and documentaries showing hundreds of people passing by London Bridge Station to the different corners of the city
  • A new monument, London Bridge Museum, is planned to open by 2012 in the crypt of the abutment of the bridge in the south.