London Bridge 2014

February 2014

A rainy evening during the wet winter of 2014 taken from London Bridge with London Bridge Hospital, The Shard and No. 1 London Bridge on the left and Southwark Cathedral towards the right.

London Bridge refers to several bridges that have spanned the River Thames between the City of London and Southwark. The current crossing, which opened to traffic in 1973, is a box girder bridge constructed from concrete and steel. It replaced a 19th-century stone-arched bridge, which in turn superseded a 600-year-old medieval structure. This was preceded by a succession of timber bridges: the first was built by the Roman founders of London. One of these was pulled down by Viking invaders using ships lead by Olav in 1014. At the time of The Great Fire of London (1666) the bridge had become home to a community of shopkeepers, artisans and merchants with wooden buildings constructed up to six storeys high on the bridge.

The current bridge still stands at the western end of the Pool of London but it is positioned 30 metres upstream from the original alignment. The traditional ends of the medieval bridge were marked by St Magnus-the-Martyr on the northern bank and Southwark Cathedral on the southern shore. Until Putney Bridge opened in 1729, London Bridge was the only road-crossing of the Thames downstream of Kingston-upon-Thames.

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