Hammersmith Bridge is probably the least known of the three bridges that span the Thames in central London, as it does not connect with central London. Instead, it links with a picturesque northwestern part of the city called Hammersmith, once a small town north of London then absorbed into London’s larger suburbs and now home to a vibrant community and an incredible range of restaurants. The bridge itself, containing a wide pedestrian pathway and cycle lanes, dwarfs virtually everything around it as it spans the river.
Its five arches are picturesque but are not in themselves interesting, My City of London (mycityoflondon.co.uk). The most interesting parts of Hammersmith Bridge are off the beaten path: You’ll find them in its surrounding areas which include two pubs (the Robin Hood. The last time I was in London, I tried to find a walk-able path off the beaten path that would give me some sense of the history of a place. This walk proved very challenging and I just couldn’t find one — until this summer! While there, I traveled a bit outside of the popular tourist destinations and found my way to Hammersmith Bridge (see walk below).
Hammersmith Bridge connects the town of Hammersmith, in west London, with Barnes. These places are more typical of London–quiet and reserved–than the area surrounding the bridge in Hammersmith. Here, there are restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs. All of these establishments are at home along the Thames as it curves beside the riverbank. Hammersmith Bridge is a bit of an oddity in the city of London. While I'm sure there are many bridges that get less traffic than this one, it's strange to find something so out-of-the-way in a major metropolis.
Richmond Bridge's current design is a copy of the original structure, which was engineered by James Paine. At the time, it was part of the main route into London and crossed the river around 400-500 meters south of its current location. It took over twenty years to build this iconic bridge and was originally constructed in the Plaistow Marshes. Simple but elegant, the bridge consists of five arches supported with robust stonework at each side.
Despite its name, Richmond Bridge does not lead directly to Richmond ― as it stands on an east-west alignment, Richmond is 3km away to the east. Richmond Bridge, with it's four elegant stone arches spanning over 100 meters, is one of the most striking bridges across the River Thames. It's beauty is far beyond its function as a simple commuter bridge interestingly it was built as part of a dual purpose project; create a usable road link between the London Bridge area and Richmond village, but more obviously to improve the view of Richmond Palace from Ham House which stood on the bank opposite (now demolished), and was used as a royal retreat by Charles II amongst others.
Richmond Bridge is a wooden bridge standing on massive stone piers. The arches are made of brick. The bridge was built between 1774 and 1777 by John Smeaton as part of his improvements to London's bridges (he built London Bridge, Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge). It originally had two toll-gates but these were removed in 1873 when the Metropolitan Board of Works financed work to repair and strengthen the structure. Richmond Bridge is a Grade II listed bridge.
It was built in 1777 by James Paine (1723-1811), who was the main bridge builder to London’s Corporation of the City of London. It was initially made up of five arches, but two further ones were later constructed, making it into an 8-arch bridge. A detour in the west of London that can be reached by bus (B71) or bicycle, Hammersmith Bridge is as wonderful a spot for watching the sunset over the London skyline as you are going to find.
Built in 1831, the replacement London Bridge served double-duty as both a rail bridge and transporter of much-needed materials during World War II. As one of the original bridges built across the Thames, it was more than 900 years old when it was replaced with the new structure. Gaze upon the new London Bridge and try to imagine what it would be like to live the next 900 years. You'll probably forget all about time travel as you take in Big Ben and the Tower of London on the north bank, and Grand Palais and the Louvre on the south.
The London Bridge isn’t technically in London anymore. What’s left of it, that is. After the first bridge crossing the River Thames at this location was destroyed by German bombers in World War II, residents of Lake Havasu City put in a bid for the remnants, having heard that a replacement bridge was to be built, and was going to use materials salvaged from the ruins of the original structure. The winning bid became a reality and today you can go see what’s left for yourself – or drive over it if you happen to be in Arizona.
The current London Bridge is in fact a close relative of the previous one, from a design point of view. It was built between 1967 and 1973 to replace several old hulks that had become unsafe to use. The new bridge was designed by R. Seifert & Partners and has two tiers with a combined length of 2,029 feet (614 m). The old London Bridge is a place in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It is a tourist trap, full of tacky souvenir shops and dealers of commemorative cups.
The structure was purchased by Robert P. McCulloch, who moved it from London to Lake Havasu City, Arizona in 1967 where it was rebuilt. For those who aren’t aware of this, Lake Havasu City is located at the foot of London Bridge. The London Bridge was dismantled in 1968 and transported (and reconstructed) to Lake Havasu City. The current London Bridge is a wonder of modern engineering. It is the world's leading example of a steel suspension bridge.
At the eastern end of Blackfriars Railway Bridge is one of those wedding photos you might see in the CityBusiness or London’s Evening Standard. You know the one: two bankers who wouldn’t look out-of-place on Made In Chelsea are standing apart from each other, each wearing a white shirt and black suit but different designers. One is on a BlackBerry with his tuxedo jacket fastened, looking straight into his phone as if he can barely be bothered to turn up for his own wedding.
The other is without a BlackBerry, gazing passionately into the middle distance. Many railway passengers crossing London never realise that this was once the site of one of the City's first major railway stations. Opened on 13 September 1864, Blackfriars Station was built beside the Thames on a viaduct constructed of brick. It eventually became one of the most important railway termini in London, with trains running to Brighton and Kent. The station also served as an important connection for travel to Paris via Dover.
Where is Blackfriars Bridge? It’s right here, under my nose. London is a huge city with an amazing history that never ceases to amaze me. Here, at 3:15pm on a sunny Monday afternoon I can read the history literally all around me, with the help of Google maps. The Blackfriars station opened in 1886, as the terminus of the original Blackfriars Railway Bridge across the Thames. A wooden deck was laid across the bridge between 1893 and 1904.
I am a bit poorer for having passed over the crucial fact that this is a bridge. But it soon becomes plain enough why Thomas Hood, in his poem of 1829, should have written of "The Bridge of Sighs. " Westminster Bridge can be the saddest place in London. the tourists do not know this. And by night its splendid lamps do not throw over the water--that black flood enclosed and overcome--a yellow light but its fluttering gaslight makes all faces pallid, as, under the snow or stars, all shoulders wear the same uniform pall.
Westminster Bridge is the oldest road bridge in London. It's been spanned by various structures over the centuries, with the current bridge, designed by Joseph Bazalgette and opened in 1876, being a mix of iron and steelwork. Before it was built there was a ferry by Horseferry Road at this point. Built between 1896 and 1901, Blackfriars Bridge is one of several bridges that carry road traffic across the Thames in central London.
If you like gardens, stroll downriver towards the children’s playground, and you’ll come again to St Thomas’s Hospital and the attendant ideas that Raymond Chandler gives us about this area. But, for now, cross the bridge and walk the two minutes along Lambeth Palace Road and then turn right onto Lambeth Road for a stroll past the magnificent College of Arms (this is also where JK Rowling based her headquarters in “Harry Potter”). There are many brilliant pubs to be found on this route: I especially like The White Swan at No.
189 because it dates back to 1538 – one of the longest-running pubs in London. If you like coffee shops, your first choice should be Borough Market. The original bridge was designed by Joseph Cubitt and opened in 1894. Somewhat curiously, its piers were constructed beside the existing downstream bridge, requiring boatmen to navigate both structures until the original was partially dismantled. This must have been a tricky operation, given that the Albert Embankment contains three minor shipping channels used by tugs bringing coal and other materials up to central London from the Port of London Authority docks downstream.
This is a beautiful spot on any sunny day, but especially so in the early evening when the colourful reflections from the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall dance upon the surface of the river. It's also a great place to watch one of London's most peculiar customs. The Zoetrope, an old Victorian gizmo for viewing animations, spin and crackle between 7 and 8pm each evening in Central Hall Westminster. A few minutes later you'll hear Big Ben strike 8 o'clock.
Here’s how to get there: Head back down to South Bank and turn left (west). Walk along the south bank of the River Thames until you reach Westminster Bridge Road. Continue walking south until you see a red brick building on your left. It’s called LAMBETH BRIDGE. You’ll see the bridge up ahead. If you cross the bridge, you will be in Vauxhall. It opened in 1912 as a stop-gap measure to relieve congestion at Westminster Bridge, until the completion of Tower Bridge.
It is 315 feet (96 m) long and 25 feet (7. 62 m) wide, carries four lanes of traffic over the river, and has a 24-hour service of water buses on its northern landing stage. A few more minutes upstream and you come to Waterloo Bridge, which stretches over the river to the South Bank. It has its own curious history, being named after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Blackfriars Bridge connects the City of London with the district of Southwark.