Two Views of London Bridge

‘London Bridge, London, England’

Strohmeyer & Wyman

1896

old london bridge 2

‘The Great London Bridge’

Universal Photo Art Company

c.1900

great london bridge edit

Plans for replacing the 600-year-old bridge over the River Thames in London began at the end of the 18th century. A design competition was held and the winner was John Rennie. Work started on Rennie’s bridge in 1824, 30m upstream from the old medieval bridge which continued to be used until the new bridge was completed in 1831. The medieval bridge was only then demolished. Rennie’s bridge was 283m long, constructed from Dartmoor granite and cost a fortune. The carriageway was widened by 4m at the beginning of the 20th century by which time it was becoming obvious that the bridge was sinking into the riverbed. The bridge was sold in 1968 and the outer casing stones and parapet were shipped to Lake Havasu City in Arizona where they were assembled over a pre-constructed framework. A new bridge over the Thames opened in 1973. Made of concrete it has none of the beauty of its predecessor. The late 17th century Monument to the Great Fire of London can be seen on the horizon in the second stereoview. 62m tall it stands 62m from where the fire broke out at Pudding Lane in 1666. Now overshadowed by office blocks, it is one of the few structures shown that still survives.

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