Bridges of London

Albert Bridge, Chelsea

Bridges .—The communication between the northern and southern sections of the metropolis is maintained by means of various bridges.  Excluding Albert Suspension Bridge, (between Cadogan Pier, Chelsea, and Albert Road, leading into Battersea Park,) commenced in 1865, and not yet open, the number is 14—as follow: 1.  London Bridge, built by Rennie, and opened in 1831; it is 928 feet long, and 54 wide; it has 5 arches, of which the centre is 152 feet span, and cost, with the approaches, £2,000,000.  This is regarded as one of the finest granite bridges in the world.  2.  South-Eastern Railway Bridge, to connect the London Bridge Station with a new terminus in Cannon Street; this bridge, having five lines of railway, is midway between London Bridge and the one next to be named.  3.  Southwark Bridge, by Rennie, was opened in 1819; it is of iron, 708 feet long, with three magnificent arches, the centre one of 402 feet span; it was a toll bridge, and cost £800,000.  In 1865, it was made free, and remains so, by arrangement between the Company and the Corporation.  4.  Blackfriars Railway Bridge, with four lines of rail, connects the Metropolitan Railway north of the Thames with the Chatham and Dover Railway on the south. Blackfriars Bridge5.  Old Blackfriars Bridge, by Mylne, was opened in 1769; it consisted of 19 arches, and was 995 feet long.  The foundations, however, having become decayed, the bridge was pulled down, and a magnificent new one, by Mr. Cubitt, built its place.  A wooden bridge of remarkable construction, with a foot-way over the carriage-way, did duty for traffic till the opening of Mr. Cubitt's present structure.  This was formally done by the Queen in person, November 6, 1869.  The entire width of the new bridge is 75 feet, the foot-paths being 15 feet each, with a fine road between them, 45 feet in breadth from kerb to kerb.  The entire length of the bridge, including approaches, is 1,272 feet, and its centre arch has a span of 185 feet in the clear.  It has four piers.  All its iron (except the ornamental portion, which is of cast metal) is hammered.  With its handsome polished red granite piers, Portland stone capitals, and florid Venetian Gothic ornamentation, light-looking yet massive iron arches, spandrils, and parapets, and its general tout ensemble, new Blackfriars is, bearing all things in mind, one of the cheapest permanent bridges thrown across the Thames.  Its total cost is under £400,000.  6.  Waterloo Bridge, one of the most magnificent in the world, was built by Rennie, and was opened in 1817; it is flat from end to end, 1,380 feet long, or 2,456 with the approaches; it consists of nine beautiful arches of 120 feet span, and cost £1,000,000; a toll of one halfpenny per passenger yields a very poor return on this outlay.  7.  Hungerford Suspension Bridge  has been replaced by a fine new bridge, partly for foot-passengers, and partly for the Charing Cross extension of the South-Eastern Railway.  8.  Old Westminster Bridge, opened in 1750, is now all removed, to make way for a beautiful new bridge of iron, with granite piers, built by Mr. Page, opened for traffic in 1862.  It is about 1,160 feet long by 85 feet wide.  9.  Lambeth Bridge, a wire-rope suspension bridge of economical construction, from Westminster to near Lambeth Church, was opened in 1862.  10.  Vauxhall Bridge, built by Walker, was opened in 1816; it is of iron, 798 feet long, and consists of nine equal arches.  11.  Pimlico Railway Bridge, from Pimlico to the commencement of Battersea Park, connects the Victoria Station with the Brighton and other railways.  12.  Chelsea Suspension Bridge, very near the bridge last named, gives easy access from Chelsea to Battersea, and is a light and elegant structure.  13.  Battersea Bridge  is an old wooden structure, unsightly in appearance, inconvenient to passengers over it, and still more so to steamboats under it.  14.  West London Extension Railway Bridge, opened in 1863, crosses the Thames from a point a little above Cremorne Gardens to Battersea town; it is a link to connect various railways on the north of the river with others on the south.  Putney BridgeHammersmith Suspension BridgeBarnes Railway Bridge, and Kew Bridge, may or may not be included in this series, according to the acceptation of the indefinite word ‘Metropolis.'