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London Bridge

London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, between the City of London and Southwark. It is between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge.

The current London Bridge

On the south side of the bridge is Southwark Cathedral and the London Bridge rail station. On the north side is the Monument to the Great Fire of London and Monument tube station.

Table of contents
1 History
2 See Also
3 External Links


London Bridge is on the site of a number earlier bridges.

The first bridge across the Thames in the London area was built by the Romans on the present site around AD 50 and was made of wood. The location was likely chosen as a bridgable spot which still had deepwater access to the sea.

Old London Bridge in the early 1890s

The bridge fell into disrepair after the Romans left, but at some point either it was repaired or a replacement constructed. The first stone bridge was finished in 1209. Images of medieval London often show a bridge lined with houses, shops and other buildings on the site.

That bridge lasted 600 years, but it eventually was deemed unsound. Its replacement, built 100 feet west of the original site, was designed by engineer John Rennie and completed by his son (of the same name, confusingly) over a seven-year period from 1824 to 1831.

(Some 30 years earlier, in 1800, Thomas Telford had proposed a bridge with a single iron arch spanning 600ft, but the amount of land needed, particularly on the northern abutment in the City of London, meant the design was never executed.)

The Rennie bridge, however, in turn proved unsound; it was sinking an inch every eight years. It was sold in 1970 and moved piece by piece to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and reassembled there as a tourist attraction (there is some speculation that the purchasers were under the mistaken impression that they were buying Tower Bridge). Not all of the bridge was transported to America; some was kept behind in lieu of taxes and was eventually auctioned in 2003.

The current London Bridge was opened in 1973.

The bridge is the subject of a well-known nursery rhyme, London Bridge is Falling Down

There is also a natural arch in Victoria (Australia) known as London Bridge, but its name was changed when part of the arch collapsed. See London Arch.

See Also

External Links