A List Of Bridges In London

Blackfriars Bridge

The Grade II listed Blackfriars Railway Bridge is a railway bridge located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. The bridge was designed by William Baker and completed in 1869. It was built for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway to carry the company's main line across the Thames between Bankside station in the City of London on the north bank, and Ludgate Hill station to the south. The first Blackfriars Bridge (technically known as the New Street Bridge) was opened in 1869 and until 1907 it was the only railway bridge across the Thames in London.

The original design was very different from today’s bridge, with only a single line of tracks over a dedicated street level to rail viaduct that separated the local traffic from the rail infrastructure, The London NET (thelondonnet.co.uk). There are numerous bridges crossing the Thames throughout London, and coincidentally, a number of railway stations in the area. However, the most famous bridge is perhaps Blackfriars Bridge. The bridge is located to the north of St Paul's Cathedral and was designed by Sir William Holford.

Construction began in 1864 and was completed in 1869. It's one of the oldest surviving railway bridges in London, and also used to be called "Blackfriars Street Bridge" (I don't think it has a proper name). The bridge was built in 1864 replacing an earlier structure on the same site. The bridge takes its name from the Blackfriars Monastery, which stood in what is now St Paul's Churchyard. Blackfriars is a busy railway junction under which The River Thames runs and right near the busy area of Elephant & Castle, South Bank, Waterloo, and Victoria Train stations.

Hammersmith Bridge

I started my visit to West London (in District 3)  in Hammersmith, a small but lovely part of the city. The walk from the bus station on King Street is easy and scenic, following a portion of the Thames River as it winds through this section of town. After about ten minutes, I came to my first of five bridges in this district, Hammersmith Bridge. The structure is shared by traffic and pedestrians; this part of London is very quiet when it comes to car activity so most roads will allow walking.

Hammersmith Bridge is a concrete structure dating from the 1930s. It was built to connect with footpaths on both sides of the river and offer a more scenic way of reaching Hammersmith. Its lush, intimate surroundings make it hard to believe you're in a bustling part of London and most of the time you can forget the thrumming traffic on the main road just beyond. The bridge is all black with a streamlined feel; I couldn't figure out why they didn't just paint it white.

 The center decoration symbolizes the sun, birds, and waves of the River Thames.  It's funny that such an important city landmark is relatively unknown compared to other bridges. It’s a tourist spot, for sure, but you won’t find as many people here as you will in the more popular (and easier to get to) Westminster Bridge just across the river. That makes Hammersmith Bridge one of my favorites for a pleasant stroll and some good photos.

Lambeth Bridge

I visited Lambeth all the time growing up but never really ventured beyond Vauxhall. I could've of course, but I was only interested in the cool record shops and cafes along South Bank. Once you cross the river however, the locale changes considerably. I especially didn't realise just how much history is around this part of town. Lambeth used to be an old village that pre-dates London's formation and as such has a few fantastic examples of Tudor architecture still standing today.

Head east on the north side of the river, keeping the Thames on your left. On the riverbank you can sometimes see 3 massive vertical concrete cylinders. These are remains of underwater bells from a World War 2 sea mine defense system. After passing under Vauxhall Bridge, you’ll see Cornwallis Railway Bridge ahead of you reaching across the Thames to Cheswardine Gardens. Behind Cornwallis Railway Bridge is Big Ben and Parliament. Lambeth Bridge is an iconic pedestrian bridge across the River Thames in London, England.

It was built adjacent to the southern end of Westminster Bridge. Lambeth Bridge is thought to have been designed by the architect John Rennie, who had previously designed Waterloo Bridge and Southwark Bridge. Plenty of trains (crossing both ways) run between London Victoria and London Waterloo stations on this bridge. Serving as the boundary between Lambeth and Vauxhall, it crosses the river east to west. The bridge itself dates from 1906, and provides a clearance of only 14 feet above high water springs.

It is popular with a crowd that’s slightly more restrained than the one you’d find on Westminster Bridge. Indeed, Lambeth is generally less crowded at any time than its neighbour. Once across Lambeth Bridge, you'll be on the south side of the Thames. Your walk along London's river will be coming to an end shortly, but not before you enjoy one final cross-river trip – on a boat. By day, Hammersmith Bridge is not particularly photogenic.

London Bridge

Built in 1831, the original construction lasted just 54 years until the Middlesex arches were replaced by a steel structure in 1886. During this time, it was claimed to have been used as a drawbridge over the River Thames that lead to the City of London.  On September 20th, 1940, during World War II, when attacking German aircraft bombed the city of London, resulting in 35 deaths on the bridge and injuring many more.

 This caused extensive damage, with roughly 70% of the bridge being destroyed. The original London Bridge (London Bridge) was completed in 1831. It featured five arches and five stone towers and was made with Portland stone. In the early 1960s, its condition had deteriorated to such an extent that a decision was made to replace it with a modern, stronger bridge. This colossal enterprise took four years to complete and cost £5 million – equivalent to over £100 million today.

The first London Bridge was destroyed by Vikings in the 11th century and was rebuilt in wood. On January 12, 1832, a fire destroyed most of London. City planners decided to replace the bridge with a new one made out of cast iron. It quickly became known as Blackfriars Bridge due to its similarity to old London Bridge . The current incarnation of London Bridge is the work of architect Sir Horace Jones (1819-1898, a pupil of Sir Charles Barry who designed the Houses of Parliament), completed in 1831 as one of a pair with Tower Bridge see number 3 below.

The original London Bridge was built in the 12th century to provide passage across the River Thames. The bridge stood for over 600 years before succumbing to damage from German bombs during WWII. It’s an ordinary river crossing with a long history and a nineteenth-century suspension-bridge trusses that’s barely worth a second glance. But by night… Oh, by night … this bridge is breathtaking. It's not a tourist place, it's rather grey (however not to many black friars).

Richmond Bridge

Richmond Bridge was never such a busy crossing as many other bridges in London given its location at a south western corner of the city. The bridge is not particularly wide and because of its restrictive width which didn’t allow for building on top of the bridge structure, there were no houses built on top of it (unlike some other bridges). A few rooms with full view of the bridge were created but in general, this was not an issue.

What was more important was that due to the restricted size, there weren’t too many people using the bridge which meant people could cross it easily while rickshaws and horse drawn carriages could still pass freely under it. The bridge offers a beautiful view of the area as it stretches over the river with four stone arches. You can actually see across the river from the bridge and see Big Ben (the famous London Clock Tower).

What I found interesting, however, is that the traffic signs point towards Richmond if you are on the north side of the bridge, and they point towards Kew Bridge if you are on the south side. I guess one sign for each direction would be too confusing?. It  was designed by architect James Paine and was constructed from 1774 to 1777. At 42. 3m in length, the four-arched bridge has a clear span of 30.

5 m which is longer than that of the Thames'arch at London Bridge. The original bridge was constructed for the purpose of crossing the Thames between North Side of Westminster Bridge and Hampton Court. Richmond Bridge has had many iterations since its completion in 1777, including suffering damage from both Nazis during World War II and the 1996 IRA bombing. The hefty repairs put on the bridge after WWII help to preserve it and provide a unique setting of history along with ornate stone work amidst the backdrop of modern London.

Westminster Bridge

Westminster Bridge is the first of my ‘top 8 picturesque bridges’ featured in this blog. It was also the only purely modern one, because I wanted to include some iconic London sight, rather than just pretty-looking bridges," commented Chris Skinner when introducing his blog post: The Top 8 Picturesque Bridges in London. Westminster Bridge is the oldest road bridge in London. It opened in 1750 and was subsequently widened, only to be replaced by a new bridge – on the same site in 1862.

Laura Grace

Laura Grace

Main Contributor and Editor of The London NET