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London Bridge

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London Bridge

Two thousand years ago the first stone was roughly placed in the location where now it stands the London Bridge. At that time it was part of Roman bridge which has the intention to connect the two Londinium banks. After the Roman Empire’s fall, several wars among different civilizations, like the Saxony and a score of monarchs, London Bridge keeps on being the standard bridge for the twelve who crossed the River Thames and, together with the city and its citizens, have been evolving.

Until 1209, the bridge was made of wood with the constant problematic that it involved. Henry II of England was the one who decided to end up with the transit problems and maintain, and after 33 years of works, London got eventually a bridge with a complete stoned structure. The heir monarch, John I of England, promoted the commercial settlements on the bridge and, in spite of the traffic problems which were produced, that part of the city underwent a large population growth, together with its correspondent urban development.

Until the XIX century, after a restoration it changed to be made of granite, the London Bridge witnessed the city development, was threatened by several fires, and was turned into a strategic spot for different revolutions… It became obsolete to help the needs that the city demanded.

In 1831 the new London Bridge was ready to be used and the previous one was demolished. The architectural work from John Rennie placed it 30 meters further east from where the previous bridge was placed, it had a 283 meters length and a 15 meters width. Its price was 2 thousand pounds and less than a century later they realized that it was sinking and it was necessary to build a new one.

And so on, we got to the current London Bridge, designed by the architect John Mowlem and it started to be used in the spring of 1973. In order to avoid collapsing that part of the city during its construction and to place the new bridge in the same location as the old bridge one, Rennie’s work was demolished piece by piece, following the same building rhythm as the one of the new bridge, in such a way that, despite of the works, its use was kept. Another part from the old bridge was sold to an American businessman for almost 2 thousand and a half pounds and it was placed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

The current red illumination is a bridge identity mark, it started to be used in 2004 on the occasion of Poppy Day, when the fallen in I World War are paid a tribute, and that’s why the city is filled with paper poppies. That year all bridges were illuminated with meaningful color of the festivity and after the celebration it was decided to leave the bridge as it was due to the remarkable improvement on its appearance

Upon London Bridge, the heads of traitors were stuck on spikes for all to see. National triumphs were marked by gorgeous processions over the water. The bridge was the focal point of the city and for all England.

Edward Rutherford, London: The Novel

Listing Details

  • Address: london bridge
  • Get there by bus: 21 35 40 47 133 17 43 47 48 141 149 521
  • Get there by tube/train: Monument (Circle, District), London Bridge (Jubilee, Northern)

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There are 2 comments. Add yours.

  1. Alan Carpenter

    The image shows Tower Bridge not London Bridge. Totally different bridge.

  2. Julian Peter

    Thank you for this comment it’s true that the photo was wrong but I have changed it.

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