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There are 33 bridges across the tidal Thames from Teddington Lock to the open sea. The first of those is Richmond, the last the Dartford Crossing, or Queen Elizabeth II bridge. Here is some trivia about the most interesting of the ones in Central London.

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Thames Bridges

Vauxhall Bridge

The first bridge to carry a tram over the Thames. Built of steel, on granite piers, it was opened in 1906 and features eight bronze female sculptures representing the arts and sciences, made to use up surplus funds from the bridge-building. The River Effra flows under the MI6 building and into the Thames to the south of the bridge.

Tube: Vauxhall

Southwark Bridge

Opened in 1921, this replaced one designed by John Rennie that was noted for having the longest cast iron span (73 m) ever made, a bridge mentioned often by Charles Dickens. Below the bridge on the south side are some steps once used by Thames watermen to moor up while waiting for custom.

Tube: Southwark

Waterloo Bridge

The first bridge on this site was finished in 1817, two years after the Battle of Waterloo, for which it was named. This bridge opened in 1945, being built by a largely female workforce during World War II and is therefore known as the Ladies' Bridge. It was also the only Thames bridge damaged by German bombs during the war.
Tube: Waterloo

Albert Bridge

One of the few suspension bridges in London, and also among the most picturesque especially when illuminated at night. Designed by Rowland Ordish and opened in 1873 as a toll bridge, the toll-houses remain in place, but unused. With a reputation for being shaky, notices at both ends warn marching troops to break step when crossing.
Tube: Sloane Square

Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge. The first bridge here opened in 1769 - the third bridge after old London Bridge and Westminster Bridge. It was named after the nearby Blackfriars Monastery. The present bridge was opened in 1869 by Queen Victoria and has five wrought iron arches to a design by Thomas Cubitt.
Tube: Blackfriars

London Bridge

This site dates backs to Roman times and was the first crossing of the Thames. The medieval bridge stood for more than 600 years being replaced only in 1831 with one whose lights were cast from Napoleonic cannons. This bridge - lights and all - was famously then sold to America, with the present bridge opening in 1973.

Tube: London Bridge

Tower Bridge

This historic bridge is still raised about 20 times a week to allow tall ships, cruise liners and other large boats to pass underneath. You can trust to luck, or check the website below, which lists the upcoming lifting schedule.

Tower Bridge EC1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7940 3984
Tube: Tower Hill
www.towerbridge.org.uk

Hungerford Bridge

One of only three bridges in London to combine rail and pedestrian use, the two footbridges on each side are properly called the Golden Jubillee Bridges. The railway bridge replaced a suspension footbridge designed by IK Brunel, the chains of which were later re-used on Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Tube: Charing Cross

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