17 Facts About London Bridge


Several bridges named London Bridge have spanned the River Thames between the City of London and Southwark, in central London.

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Current bridge stands at the western end of the Pool of London and is positioned 30 metres upstream from previous alignments.

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Until Putney Bridge opened in 1729, London Bridge was the only road crossing of the Thames downstream of Kingston upon Thames.

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London Bridge has been depicted in its several forms, in art, literature, and songs, including the nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down", and the epic poem The Waste Land by T S Eliot.

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The first London Bridge was built by the Romans as part of their road-building programme, to help consolidate their conquest.

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The Roman roads leading to and from London were probably built around AD50, and the river-crossing was possibly served by a permanent timber bridge.

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The Chapel of St Thomas on the London Bridge became the official start of pilgrimage to his Canterbury shrine; it was grander than some town parish churches, and had an additional river-level entrance for fishermen and ferrymen.

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In 1212, perhaps the greatest of the early fires of London Bridge broke out, spreading as far as the chapel and trapping many people.

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London Bridge was about 926 feet long, and had nineteen piers linked by nineteen arches and a wooden drawbridge.

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The gap was only partly filled by new houses, with the result that there was a firebreak that prevented the Great Fire of London spreading to the rest of the bridge and to Southwark.

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In 1756, the London Bridge Act gave the City Corporation the power to purchase all the properties on the bridge so that they could be demolished and the bridge improved.

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London Bridge's design was accepted as safe and practicable, following expert testimony.

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Current London Bridge was designed by architect Lord Holford and engineers Mott, Hay and Anderson.

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In 1984, the British warship HMS Jupiter collided with London Bridge, causing significant damage to both the ship and the bridge.

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On Remembrance Day 2004, several bridges in London were furnished with red lighting as part of a night-time flight along the river by wartime aircraft.

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London Bridge was the one bridge not subsequently stripped of the illuminations, which are regularly switched on at night.

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Current London Bridge is often shown in films, news and documentaries showing the throng of commuters journeying to work into the City from London Bridge Station .

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