Many of London’s iconic bridges give unique views and access to some of the city’s most popular sights, tours and events; or are well known landmarks in their own right. Wherever you find yourself along the Thames you’re guaranteed to be close to at least one of these famous bridges. So that, get ready to know our 7 Most Amazing London Bridges list in Decor and Style.
1. Tower Bridge
Built in 1894, Tower Bridge is the most iconic bridge in London. This impressive feat of engineering is 244 metres (800 feet) long, covered in 22,000 litres (5,812gal) of paint and crossed by 40,000 people each day.
Take a look behind-the-scenes of the famous bridge at The Tower Bridge Exhibition. You’ll discover areas such as the bridge’s machinery room, which houses the hydraulic system that allows the bridge to rise for river traffic.
This process hasn’t always gone smoothly, however. In 1952 the bridge started rising while one of London’s double-decker buses was still trying to cross. Its driver, Albert Gunton, avoided catastrophe by accelerating rapidly and jumping the gap.
2. London Bridge
While much more subdued in design compared to its flashier neighbour, London Bridge is arguably just as famous. The first incarnation was built by the Romans, followed later by medieval bridges with houses on top, and a stone bridge commissioned by Henry II which lasted until 1831.
An American firm called McCulloch Oil Company bought the next London Bridge for £1m in 1971 as a tourist attraction for the new Lake Havasu City in Arizona. But the story that Robert P. McCulloch thought that he was paying for the more iconic Tower Bridge is now thought to be an urban legend.
3. Millennium Bridge
The Millennium Bridge opened to the public on 10 June 2000, linking St Paul’s Cathedral on the north bank of the Thames with the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. The footbridge’s famous tremor has now been fixed, but “the wobbly bridge” nickname endures.
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4. Southwark Bridge
Southwark Bridge links the City of London with Southwark on the south bank of the Thames. It’s the closest bridge to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and sees the least traffic of the city’s bridges.
5. Blackfriars Bridge
Built in 1869, Blackfriars Bridge gained notoriety in 1982 when Vatican bank Chairman Robert Calvi was found hanging from it. Calvi was embroiled in a series of financial scandals and a member of the “Propaganda Due” (or P2) Masonic lodge that brought down the Italian government in 1981. Members of P2 referred to themselves as “Frati neri” or Black Friars.
6. Waterloo Bridge
Opened in 1945, the current Waterloo Bridge earned the nickname the “Ladies Bridge” as it was built mainly by women during World War II (while many men were away fighting). The first bridge built here in 1817 was made up of nine granite arches and commemorated the victory of the British, the Dutch and the Prussians at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
7. Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges
Opened in 2002, the two footbridges either side of the Hungerford Bridge were named in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Now a rail bridge, the Hungerford Bridge was also initially designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as a footbridge. Walk straight down to the river from Trafalgar Square and you can cross the Golden Jubilee Bridges to the Southbank Centre and the London Eye.
See also: LONDON’S MOST UNUSUAL MUSEUMS – PART II
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