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London Bridge History

About London Bridge History

The city of London is adorned by the two famous bridges, London Bridge and Tower Bridge that has almost become a landmark of the city. A great tourist attraction, these two bridges attract millions of tourists to London every year. A little detail on the history on bridges is sure to offer you interesting and knowledgeable facts. Know more about London with its Bridges history.

Let us have a look at the detailed history on bridges of London.

London Bridge

A popular landmark of London, the bridge connects the City of London to the Southwark in Central London. The bridge that is located between the Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge forms the western end of the London pool. The southside4 of the Bridge faces Southwark Cathedral and the London Bridge station while the north side of the bridge faces the Monument to the Great Fire of London and Monument tube station.

History of London Bridge

The first bridge that existed at the site of the present bridge dates back to the Roman period, some 2,000 years ago. The first bridge was probably military pontoon bridge built of wood around 50 AD. A piled bridge was constructed by the locals around 55AD, which was demolished following an attack from the other side. However, a second Bridge was built in that are, which constantly fell to many attacks. Many bridges were constructed in the same site as they demolished one after another following either an attack or a natural disaster.

The London Bridge opened to the world in the year 1729 being the only bridge covering the Thames River from Kingston until Putney. The present London Bridge opened to the masses on 17th March, 1973. The present London Bridge comprising of three spans of prestressed-concrete box girders and a length of 928 feet was designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson. The London Bridge is presently owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, which is an independent charity overseen by the City of London Corporation.

However, people often seem to confuse London Bridge with Tower Bridge, which is the second bridge over the River Thames

Tower Bridge

Yet another popular landmark of the city of London, Tower Bridge that runs over the downstream Thames got its name from the Tower of London, situated very close to the bridge. The nearest London Underground station is Tower Hill on the Circle and District Lines. Tower Gateway is the nearest Docklands Light Railway station. The bridge is comprised of two towers tied together at the upper level with two horizontal walkways. The color of the bridge dates back to the year 1977 when it was painted in the color red, blue and white for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. The bridge originally was colored chocolate brown.

History of Tower Bridge

The second half of the 19th century witnessed an augmented commercial development in the East End of London leading to a necessity for a new river crossing downstream of London Bridge. In the year 1976, a Special Bridge or Subway Committee chaired by Sir Albert Joseph Altman was formed to offer a solution to the problem. The committee opened the design to public competition and after much controversy; a design submitted by Horace Jones, the City Architect was approved in the year 1884.

The idea of having a bascule bridge with two towers built on piers was devised by, Sir John Wolfe Barry. The construction of the bridge started in the year 1886 and took nearly 8 years to complete. The bridge was officially opened on 30th June, 1894 by the then Prince of Wales (Edward VII) and the Princess of Wales (Alexandra of Denmark).

The history on London Bridges offers a great knowledge on the culture and tradition of London along with the significance of London bridges.

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