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Battersea Bridge

Battersea Bridge is a bridge crossing of the River Thames in south-west London, linking Battersea south of the river with Chelsea to the north.

Until the late 18th century, a ferry service had operated across the river at this location, but an Act of Parliament in 1766 authorised construction of a toll bridge. The first structure (c.1771 and designed by a Henry Holland) was wooden, with 19 narrow spans making it difficult for river traffic to pass through. In 1795, some of the wooden spans were replaced by iron girder sections, creating spans almost double the size of the wooden ones. The bridge was a subject of paintings by Whistler and J.M.W. Turner.

Like other London toll bridges, Battersea bridge was eventually bought by the Metropolitan Board of Works and subsequently demolished (in 1885) and replaced.

The current bridge was designed by civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette, and construction (by John Mowlem & Co) of the five-span wrought-iron and steel cantilever bridge started in 1886. Supported on granite piers, the bridge was officially opened on 21 May 1890.