Talk:London Bridge

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pictures of Londo Bridgewith all the houses on it, and London Bridge in Arizona required I think


This article has been heavily vandalised in the past, I would ask that anyone reverting edits look back a little further to make sure you're not reverting to a less obviously vandalised revision - the final section on the current London Bridge was missing from the main article for a month because it had been stripped out completely! Chris 13:47, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Photography of old london bridge[edit]

Question/thought. Old London bridge was demolished after the 1831 completion of the "new" replacement bridge. By the 1830s photography was in its infancy, but undeniably in existance. Were there any photos taken of the two bridges side by side before its demolition, or of the old bridge itself? Graldensblud 17:02, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

No photograph of both bridges but there is a set of engravings much reproduced and available in Guildhall Library for a modest price. There was also a a proposal to retain the older bridge as a supplementary crossing and an engraving made to demonstrate the arrangement. The whole point of Rennie's bridge was to remove the older one completely, so the engraving is a fantasy. (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC)(Tony S)

Not a photo but an engraving of the Renni and Colechurch Bridges before the latter's demolition is posted by Ragemanchoo below. (talk) 09:50, 27 August 2008 (UTC) Tony S

Price of Old London Brdige[edit]

While looking through this article, noticed the sold price of the Old London Bridge to Lake Havasu City, Arizona was listed as $12,460,000. This is Incorrect as it was only $2,460,000. This was corrected

--Xemoka 18:14, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

William Rufus[edit]

Under the Old Bridge section, if proposals to build a stone structure weren't made until after 1136, how come William Rufus, who'd died in 1100, started raising funds? 21:14, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Always a confusion here, caused by the complexity of the financial arrangements required to erect and maintain the largest bridge in the kingdom. The 'Rufus' involvement is related to the references to labour servitude required by him in 1096 to maintain the Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London. At some point a religious guild was given the licence to raise funds anywhere in England for the purpose of maintenance. This guild became involved with the early 'commune of London' and this guild/ guilds, the City's merchants and the king all provided funds. Endowments of land were also made. A reference to 'land of London Bridge' is made in the granting of St George's church to Bermondsey Abbey in 1122. The bridge/ bridges here had been made of timber since the Saxon period. In 1163 Peter de Colechurch was appointed 'warden' effectively surveyor and manager, to build a new wooden bridge. This task received a boost from 1170 when the Becket cult developed. The pilgrimage, effectively tracing Becket's last journey from a sermon he delivered at St Mary's Priory (now Southwark Cathedral) to Canterbury Cathedral, gave a huge new purpose to the Bridge. Wisely, de Colechurch adopted the martyr as the bridge's patron, Henry II had to allow this and the new income allowed a stone structure to be contemplated and started. The early corporate seal shows Becket above the bridge and the inscription states "The Seal of St Thomas the Martyr's Bridge of London" and the chapel to Becket on the bridge seems to date from the earliest period. Since 1200 King John recognised the City's necessary involvement in the bridge's finances and under the first known Mayor, Henry Fitz Ailwyn, representatives of the City were described as Wardens. The organisational footing of this was more secure, it attracted further endowments of land, most notably Henry Fitz Ailwyn's house in Southwark in his will of 1215. The City eventually required outright control, responsibility and the creation of the Bridge House Estaes Trust from 1282. (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

london bridge[edit]

The article says that the current london bridge is over the colorado river. This is NOT true! The current london bridge is over the THAMES and the OLD London bridge was REBUILT over the colorado.

The old london bridge is not over the colorado river but over a canal that leads to Thompson Bay from the colorado.

Actually that's not the old old London Bridge anyway, it's the old new London Bridge. The really old London Bridge, familiar from many prints, only exists now in the form of two pedestrian arches that have been sitting in Victoria Park in Hackney, since 1860. Have taken pix of them, which I will be putting on that page. Can put them up here too, actually...

And Actually the pedestrian arches (one of which is in the Counting House Courtyard of nearby Guy's Hospital) only date drom the 1758 improvements of the mediaeval bridge, when the houses and shops were removed. (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

(Of course that isn't even the oldest, we can go right back to the Romans if necessary. But it is the one, I think, that evokes the strongest mental image.)

this is bs Note

"Shoot the bridge"[edit]

What does "shoot the bridge" mean? Perhaps this expression should be replaced if it is not common knowledge what it means (if it is, please excuse my ignorance). Kvaks

I've now clarified this point. -- ChrisO 23:46, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

"Following the 1136 destruction of London bridge, its maintainer Peter de Colechurch proposed to replace the timber bridge with a permanent stone construction. William Rufus levied a tax to fund the new stone bridge, and construction of a new stone bridge was begun in the reign of Henry II, under de Colechurch's direction, in 1176. "

That can't be right, William Rufus had been dead for 36 years by then. Either the year is wrong or the king is wrong (Stephen was king in 1136). Everyking 00:49, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes very confused, I have now edited to article to clarify this (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

only bridge in London until Westminster Bridge[edit]

sorry to split hairs but to say that London Bridge was the only bridge in London until Westminster Bridge was built depends how you define "London". I understand that London and Westminster were two separate cities - they still have separate cathedrals - and I think it's only a result of London's suburban expansion that they have sort-of merged, and now come to be considered as one city.

I'm not sure when this happened - I'll look it up - but going back to the 16th century, and the site of where Westminster Bridge is today can't really be said to be in London at all.

So do we say that London means the Greater London area? If so, then Kingston Bridge was built in medieval times, long before Westminster Bridge. Or do we want to use some definition of "London" that includes Westminster but excludes Kingston? If so, then shouldn't we be more specific?

I think it's possible to make this clearer, though I need to check my facts before I could do it myself. Squashy 09:22, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Always difficult to clarify this sort of statement as people use the term 'London' anachronistically. In 1750 Westminster parish was in Middlesex. In 1855 a co-ordinating body 'The Metropolitan Board of Works' under the 'Metropolis Management Act' took control of public bridges and sewers across the parishes of nearby parts of Middlesex, Surrey and Kent outside the City of London. In 1889 a new 'County of London' was created incorporating these parishes and others in Essex. So Westminster Bridge was not 'in London' until the latter date, but had been in 'the Metropolis' area since 1855. 'Greater London' was created in 1964 by merging the County with other suburban local authorities and to all intents and purposes 'Middlesex' disappeared as a county. Any bridge in Kingston upon Thames was also in Surrey under those preceeding arrangements. My edit now draws the distinction between 'Thames' and 'London' (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

Name confusion?[edit]

"was completed by Rennie's son (of the same name, confusingly) over a seven-year period" I'm confused as to why this was marked "confusingly." I believe it's fairly common for children to be named after their parents, so does it really warrent the comment? Maybe it could read "Rennie's son, of the same name" but the confusingly, I think, really needs to go. I'll just remove it in about a week if no one can present a viable reason as to why it needs to be left in. --Ecurran 03:15, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


How was London bridge destroyed? by sinking and fires, yes, but then, how did the fires start? Lightning? Suicide? A prank gone wrong? etc.

Sazuma 12:03, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Which London Bridge are you talking about? There have been three in total. ( 19:19, 30 September 2007 (UTC))

What does this mean?[edit]

This is about half way down the page, does anyone know why? Scientists are wondering if there is going to be another London Bridge, with the second one once again destroyed?

Old New London Bridge && New New London Bridge[edit]

If one was built while the other was being destroyed, this suggests that they were the same dimensions. Is this true? The current bridge is a very wide bridge (6 lanes, plus wide pavements). Perhaps someone could clarify 10:45, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The 1960s new bridge is much wider than the Rennie bridge, the new bidge replaced the older structure's traffic lanes in situ by diverting/ replacing lanes for the traffic (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

Disputed statistic[edit]

The article currently claims that the bridge blocked 80% of the flow. What does this mean? Where did the 80% go? See Conservation of mass. Since there were arches for the entire length of the bridge, the bridge spanned the entire river, and I'm assuming special diversion channels were not built to divert away 80% of the flow of the Thames, this doesn't make sense. Please reword if you understand the original meaning? Thanks. Ufwuct 23:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

London Bridge and McCulloch[edit]

The claim that Robert P McCulloch bought London Bridge believing that he was buying Tower Bridge is hard to pin down as it is an urban legend that is repeated from time to time, as on this web page [1]. I have come across this claim in the UK media on several occasions, but it is untrue because McCulloch was photographed standing on old London Bridge by the press and was well aware of what he was buying.--Ianmacm 19:53, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Could we get a citation of these photographs? 'cos at the moment there is no verification of the claim that this is an urban legend. (forgot to sign in originally) D.C.Rigate (talk) 21:03, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

All of the Ivan Luckin material comes from the citation at How London Bridge Was Sold To The States (from This Is Local London) which is offline at the moment due to a rejig at the website. In this interview, Luckin specifically denies the claim that McCulloch believed that he was buying Tower Bridge. Whether this is an urban legend is harder to say, although it does get repeated with depressing frequency, eg at [2]. Luckin is also quoted as denying this at [3]. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:16, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
The citation for the Ivan Luckin material was a broken link when I tried it. I found the article at How London Bridge Was Sold To The States (from This Is Local London). Perhaps someone would like to update the citation here and on the article at London Bridge (Lake Havasu City) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out, I've added a version of the page from WebCite which should be more stable.[4]--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:04, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

How much of the old bridge came to Arizona?[edit]

The article states: "Not all of the bridge was transported to America" and "so a large part of Rennie's bridge never left the UK". So just how much of the bridge are we talking about? This article says the one in Arizona is 58 feet shorter, and hollow, somewhat different than the Wiki article which states that it has stone cladding over a concrete frame. We need details! --Blainster 00:25, 18 April 2007 (UTC) Certainly not ALL of the bridge went to Arizona because in the early seventies -when the new 1973 bridge was being built and the old 1831 bridge was being pulled down ,Iwalked across the latter(half being still open and noticed that every corner of the rectangular tops of the buttresses that formed part of the sidewalk wall ,had been chipped off, presumably as souvenirs by the contractors or others.They would have made good paper weights.I imagine new -false- corners have replaced the originals


The article says their were buildings on each side of the bridge, how is this possible if it was only 26 feet wide. I've never heard of 7 feet deep buildings, let alone seven stories high. Maybe this needs to be looked at.

The article only says Contemporary pictures show it crowded with buildings of up to seven stories in height. If you look at the picture which is just next to it in the article you can see this is true. I don't know however if the picture is a misrepresentation.--Jackaranga 11:39, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

The article is quite correct. The bridge had houses on it from when it was first built - the income from the rents was part of the way the bridge was funded. At street level, buildings were seven to ten feet wide - but some of this overhung the sides of the bridges, supported on wooden props, so in some cases as little as four feet of the building actually sat directly over the bridge. At higher levels, buildings were built out both above the roadway and the Thames. Source - Patricia Pierce's Old London Bridge, page 51-52. There's a nice diagram in Peter Jackson's book London Bridge - A Visual History which shows a cross-section. -- Kvetner 12:43, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Six feet ?[edit]

The article says : 'This produced ferocious rapids between the piers or "starlings" of the bridge, as the difference between the water levels on each side could be as much as six feet (two metres).' A height difference of 6 feet over a horizontal distance of 26 feet sounds ridiculous - that's not a bridge, it's a dam. Can anyone cite a source for this ? -- unsigned comment by

I've got 2 books on the bridge at home and will take a look later, but yes, the bridge was to some extent a dam as the pier bases were extremely wide. The massive restraint to flow was one of the things that allowed the Thames to freeze over regularly. -- Kvetner 15:26, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Six feet is quoted in Patricia Pierce's book, page 45, which states that the piers blocked almost half the 405 feet width of the river, so it's actually fairly plausible under rapid tidal flow. Six feet is also quoted in Peter Jackson's book, page 76, which states that the starlings around the pier bases blocked up to 5/6 of the width at low tide. He reprints several old illustrations which certainly make this believable. I'll have a look at the article and see if a citation will help. -- Kvetner 22:22, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

You also have to remember that apart from the fresh water volume from the source, the Thames at this point is tidal estuary. Therefore at different tide times there was no difference in height and boats could make their way upstream. The dangerous 'shooting' was when going downstream at low tides. (talk) 09:40, 27 August 2008 (UTC) Tony S

Is this true?[edit]

Districts of England article states, unsourced, "The only district boundary that is not vertical is that between the City of London and the London Borough of Southwark. This is because the City today controls the full spans of London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, but only half of the river underneath them." If this is true it maybe should be included here, I skip read the article and couldn't find a mention of it. Carlwev (talk) 05:58, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the statement is true; furthermore there are actually footing areas within what seems to be Southwark which are clearly marked as within the City. Go to Glaziers Hall and one can see the boundary marker under what's left of Rennie's bridge next to the pedestrian steps. (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

"The bridges lights were made from Napolian's canons."[edit]

I guess this is trying to say that "The bridge's lights were made from Napoleonic cannons". Even if that's the right interpretation, though, there's no citation offered. Piers Fletcher (talk) 15:55, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Photo question[edit]

London Bridge 1830.jpg

So is that the old bridge on the left, the one being replaced? This is the bridge that was 600 years old and had had buildings on it (until they eventually burned), right? --Ragemanchoo (talk) 09:22, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

This engraving does show the Rennie Bridge and the 'Colechurch' Bridge being demolished, which had buildings on it until 1758 until removed (not burned down) to widen the roadway, (talk) 09:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC) Tony S

Unused pillars?[edit]

London Bridge was widened in 1902–04 from 52 to 65 feet (16 to 20 m), in an attempt to combat London's chronic traffic congestion. A dozen of the granite "pillars" quarried and dressed for this widening, but unused, still lie near Swelltor Quarry on the disused railway track a couple of miles south of Princetown on Dartmoor. Anybody know where this is at? I'm curious. I've looked around the area and can't find it, nor can I find evidence of an abandoned rail line. --Ragemanchoo (talk) 09:22, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Take a look at this item from the BBC Devon website. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 21:43, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


The article is suffering from an image logjam at the moment. There is a poor balance between images and the text, particularly at the bottom of the article. Images need to be chosen for relevance and balance with the surrounding text. If no-one objects, I will do some pruning.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:39, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

A better presentation of the images would be in a left-right alternating pattern. Generally aiming for a balance of image and text in context (as you say). Kbthompson (talk) 10:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


Question: I've read about nobility travelling via the Thames from Greenwich and Westminster, etc to the Tower (and Queens under arrest coming that way too). Presumably they'd have had to pass the bridge...but the bit about the rapids makes it sound like that was next to impossible. Can someone clarify? Bkhaip (talk) 08:19, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

For anyone wondering at this late date: a barge coming from Greenwich would not have to pass the bridge, as both the Tower and Greenwich are east of the bridge. A barge carrying a prisoner that was coming from Richmond, Westminster, etc. would have to pass under the bridge, and that could only be safely done at high tide. Elizabeth Tudor famously delayed her arrival at the Tower by a full day by writing a letter to Queen Mary that took so much time to complete that the tide had dropped too low to safely shoot the bridge that day. Anyone coming to the Tower who was not under arrest could be trusted to alight from their barge upstream of the bridge, walk past the bridge, and hire a waterman to take them the rest of the way. --NellieBlyMobile (talk) 02:30, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Who desinged the second London Bridge?[edit]

I've heard someone called john reemie, and in the article it says Michael Leeming desinged it. who to believe? Noghiri (talk) 19:27, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Michael Leeming designed the current London Bridge, opened in 1973; John Rennie designed the one before that, opened in 1831. There have (probably) been seven bridges here in total. – iridescent 13:37, 1 June 2009 (UTC)


Is this fact true that there is a law left over from medieval times that no one has bothered to change that entitles farmers to drive sheep over the bridge? The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk)

Not to be confused with Tower Bridge[edit]

Is it worth me adding a "Not to be confused with Tower Bridge" link at the top to save confusion? Gul e (talk) 23:12, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't see anything wrong with something along the lines of that. There's plently of people who call Tower Bridge 'London Bridge', whilst completely ignoring the presence of the actual London Bridge. I also don't know why there needs to be a citiation needed for this [in the actual article]. Could anyone possibly explain that please?
Louisalena (talk) 17:58, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree, it's a very common confusion — I've had to correct tourists a large number of times over the years who say they want to visit 'London Bridge'. Hence I've now added a suitable hatnote.—A bit iffy (talk) 13:14, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Separate article for the medieval bridge?[edit]

The medieval London Bridge strikes me as being quite ripe for its own article, given that it was slightly more interesting (and completely different) to the current bridge. Would there be support for splitting it off (in a manner similar to Old St Paul's Cathedral? Bob talk 08:55, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Pre-Roman bridge?[edit]

Any references to evidence of a pre-Roman bridge on the site, apparently discovered a few years ago? (talk) 23:05, 25 June 2011 (UTC)