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Bridges

The City Corporation looks after five of the major Thames bridges: Tower, London, Millennium, Blackfriars and Southwark.

London Bridge

Various wooden bridges stood on or near this site since before Roman times but in 1176 a visionary cleric, Peter de Colechurch, decided to build a revolutionary stone structure. Its 19 arches stretched 900 feet across the Thames and took 33 years to build. Although Peter de Colechurch died before he could see his vision turn into reality, his bridge stood for 655 years. It was demolished in 1831-2 to make way for a bridge designed by John Rennie the Elder which could cope better with the demands of the growing City and Victorian road traffic. That bridge stood for only 140 years until in 1971 it was sold to an American oil company. It now stands in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, while the wider, stronger London Bridge which replaced it still reaches across the Thames today. The current bridge was designed by Mott, Hay & Anderson with Lord Holford as architectural adviser.

Millennium Bridge

Opening to the public on 10 June 2000, the Millennium Bridge was the first new pedestrian bridge crossing over the Thames for more than a century. It soon became famous as the 'wobbly bridge', a problem quickly put right by the developers. A dramatic addition to the river, it connects St Paul's Cathedral with the Tate Modern, creating an important link between the Southbank cultural scene and the historic City of London.

Tower Bridge

Built by the Victorians over 100 years ago, Tower Bridge is one of the world's most famous bridges and London's most recognised landmark. Pumping engines, boilers and accumulators still gleam magnificently in their original settings, and working models allow you to explore some of the engineering principles applied in the bridge. Visitors can also experience a virtual bridge lift, providing a unique view of the bridge raising. Visit Tower Bridge and find out more about this famous landmark.

Southwark Bridge

Southwark Bridge - painted yellow and green - was originally built between 1814-1819 by John Rennie the Elder and was purchased by the City of London in 1868. The original cast iron structure was rebuilt in steel between 1912 and 1921 to a design by Mott & Hay as engineers and Sir Ernest George as architect. It was reopened by King George V in 1921.

Blackfriars Bridge

This was the City of London's second bridge, opened in 1769 to designs by Robert Mylne. It was replaced in 1869 by the present iron and steel structure designed by Joseph Cubitt and H Carr and widened between 1907 and 1910.​​

  • You can visit the Engine Rooms at Tower Bridge
    Tower Bridge engine rooms

    At Tower Bridge, visitors can see inside the magnificent Victorian Engine Rooms which house the beautifully maintained, coal-driven engines once used to power Bridge lifts.


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