Bridges in London

Visit London’s many bridges for sweeping views and fascinating history.

Many of London’s iconic bridges give unique views and access to some of the city’s most popular sights, tours and events; or are well known landmarks in their own right. Wherever you find yourself along the Thames you’re guaranteed to be close to at least one of these famous bridges.

  1. Tower Bridge
  2. London Bridge
  3. Millennium Bridge
  4. Southwark Bridge
  5. Blackfriars Bridge
  6. Waterloo Bridge
  7. Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges
  8. Westminster Bridge
  9. Lambeth Bridge
  10. Vauxhall Bridge
  11. Chelsea Bridge
  12. Albert Bridge
  13. Battersea Bridge
  14. Wandsworth Bridge
  15. Putney Bridge
  16. Hammersmith Bridge
  17. Chiswick Bridge
  18. Kew Bridge
  19. Twickenham Bridge
  20. Richmond Bridge
  21. Kingston Bridge
  22. Hampton Court Bridge

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aerial photograph by www.webbaviation.co.uk

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Tower Bridge


Find out more about how the famous bridge’s history at the Tower Bridge Exhibition, where you can also enjoy fantastic views from 45 metres (131 feet) above the Thames on the bridge’s walkways.

Take a look behind-the-scenes of the famous bridge at The Tower Bridge Exhibition. You’ll discover areas such as the bridge’s machinery room, which houses the hydraulic system that allows the bridge to rise for river traffic.

This process hasn’t always gone smoothly, however. In 1952 the bridge started rising while one of London’s double-decker buses was still trying to cross. Its driver, Albert Gunton, avoided catastrophe by accelerating rapidly and jumping the gap.

Built in 1894, Tower Bridge is the most iconic bridge in London. This impressive feat of engineering is 244 metres (800 feet) long, covered in 22,000 litres (5,812gal) of paint and crossed by 40,000 people each day.

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London, resulting in it sometimes being confused with London Bridge, situated some 0.5 mi (0.80 km) upstream. Tower Bridge is one of five London bridges now owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. It is the only one of the Trust’s bridges not to connect the City of London directly to the Southwark bank, as its northern landfall is in Tower Hamlets.

The bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal tension forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical components of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. Before its restoration in the 2010s, the bridge’s colour scheme dated from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee. Its colours were subsequently restored to blue and white.

The bridge deck is freely accessible to both vehicles and pedestrians, whereas the bridge’s twin towers, high-level walkways and Victorian engine rooms form part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition, for which an admission charge is made. The nearest London Underground tube stations are Tower Hill on the Circle and District lines, London Bridge on the Jubilee and Northern lines and Bermondsey on the Jubilee line, and the nearest Docklands Light Railway station is Tower Gateway. The nearest National Rail stations are at Fenchurch Street and London Bridge.

  • Carries: A100 Tower Bridge Road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London boroughs:
    – north side: Tower Hamlets
    – south side: Southwark
  • Maintained by: Bridge House Estates
  • Heritage status: Grade I listed structure
  • Preceded by: London Bridge
  • Followed by: Queen Elizabeth II Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Bascule bridge / Suspension Bridge
  • Total length:801 ft (244 m)
  • Height: 213 ft (65 m)
  • Longest span: 270 ft (82.3 m)
  • Clearance below:
    • 28 ft (8.6 m) (closed)
    • 139 ft (42.5 m) (open)
    • (mean high water spring tide)

History

  • Opened: 30 June 1894; 123 years ago

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London Bridge


While much more subdued in design compared to its flashier neighbour, London Bridge is arguably just as famous. The first incarnation was built by the Romans, followed later by medieval bridges with houses on top, and a stone bridge commissioned by Henry II which lasted until 1831.

An American firm called McCulloch Oil Company bought the next London Bridge for £1m in 1971 as a tourist attraction for the new Lake Havasu City in Arizona. But the story that Robert P. McCulloch thought that he was paying for the more iconic Tower Bridge is now thought to be an urban legend.

Find out more about the bridge’s history with the London Bridge experience, or explore its status as a film icon with the London Movie Tour.

Throughout history, a number of bridges named London Bridge have spanned the River Thames between the City of London and Southwark, in central London. The current crossing, which opened to traffic in 1973, is a box girder bridge built from concrete and steel. This replaced a 19th-century stone-arched bridge, which in turn superseded a 600-year-old medieval structure. This was preceded by a succession of timber bridges, the first built by the Roman founders of London.

The current bridge stands at the western end of the Pool of London but is positioned 30 metres (98 ft) upstream from previous alignments. The traditional ends of the medieval bridge were marked by St Magnus-the-Martyr on the northern bank and Southwark Cathedral on the southern shore. Until Putney Bridge opened in 1729, London Bridge was the only road-crossing of the Thames downstream of Kingston upon Thames. Its importance has been the subject of popular culture throughout the ages such as in the nursery rhyme “London Bridge Is Falling Down” and its inclusion within art and literature.

The modern bridge is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, an independent charity of medieval origin overseen by the City of London Corporation. It carries the A3 road, which is maintained by the Greater London Authority. The crossing also delineates an area along the southern bank of the River Thames, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, that has been designated as a business improvement district.

  • Coordinates: 51°30′29″N 0°05′16″W
  • Carries: Five lanes of the A3
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Central London
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Preceded by: Cannon Street Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Tower Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Prestressed concrete box girder bridge
  • Total length: 269 m (882.5 ft)
  • Width: 32 m (105.0 ft)
  • Longest span: 104 m (341.2 ft)
  • Clearance below: 8.9 m (29.2 ft)
  • Design life:
    • Modern bridge (1971–present)
    • Victorian stone arch (1832–1968)
    • Medieval stone arch (1176–1832)
    • Various wooden bridges (AD 50–1176)

History

  • Opened: 17 March 1973; 44 years ago

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Millennium Bridge


The Millennium Bridge opened to the public on 10 June 2000, linking St Paul’s Cathedral on the north bank of the Thames with the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. The footbridge’s famous tremor has now been fixed, but “the wobbly bridge” nickname endures.

The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, linking Bankside with the City of London. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge. It is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. Construction began in 1998, and it initially opened in June 2000.

Londoners nicknamed the bridge the “Wobbly Bridge” after pedestrians felt unexpected swaying motion. The bridge was closed later on opening day, and after two days of limited access, it was closed for almost two years while modifications were made to eliminate the motion. It reopened in 2002.

The southern end of the bridge is near the Globe Theatre, the Bankside Gallery, and Tate Modern, while the northern end of the bridge is next to the City of London School below St Paul’s Cathedral. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view (i.e. a “terminating vista”) of St Paul’s south façade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports.

  • Coordinates: 51.510173°N 0.098438°WCoordinates: 51.510173°N 0.098438°W
  • Carries: Pedestrians
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Official name: London Millennium Footbridge
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Preceded by: Blackfriars Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Southwark Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Suspension bridge
  • Total length: 325 metres (1,066 ft)
  • Width: 4 metres (13 ft)
  • Longest span: 144 metres (472 ft)

History

  • Engineering design by: Arup
  • Constructed by:
    • Monberg & Thorsen
    • Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Opened: 10 June 2000; 17 years ago

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The bridge seen from St Paul’s Cathedral.

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London Millennium Bridge at night. This image shows the well known and much photographed illusion of St. Paul’s Cathedral being supported by one of the bridge supports.

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Showing the cable suspension system.

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The view east from the Millennium Bridge

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Aerial view of the Millennium Bridge between
St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern in London.

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A telephoto shot compresses London’s Millennium bridge.

Southwark Bridge


Southwark Bridge links the City of London with Southwark on the south bank of the Thames. It’s the closest bridge to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and sees the least traffic of the city’s bridges.

Southwark (Br [ˈsʌðɨk]) Bridge is an arch bridge in London, England, for traffic linking the district of Southwark and the City across the River Thames. It has the lowest traffic utilisation of any bridge in central London.

  • Carries: A300 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Southwark, London, England
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Millennium Bridge
  • Followed by: Cannon Street Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Total length: 800 feet (243.8 m)
  • Width: 55 feet (16.8 m)
  • Longest span: 240 feet (73.2 m)

History

  • Opened: 6 June 1921

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Southwark Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral

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Southwark Bridge seen from the south bank of the Thames. Tower 42 and 30 St Mary Axe can be seen above the bridge

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Southwark Bridge at night

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Southwark Bridge over the River Thames in London.
The Cannon Street Rail Bridge and London Bridge are in the background.

Blackfriars Bridge


Built in 1869, Blackfriars Bridge gained notoriety in 1982 when Vatican bank Chairman Robert Calvi was found hanging from it. Calvi was embroiled in a series of financial scandals and a member of the “Propaganda Due” (or P2) Masonic lodge that brought down the Italian government in 1981. Members of P2 referred to themselves as “Frati neri” or Black Friars.

Blackfriars Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge, carrying the A201 road. The north end is near the Inns of Court and Temple Church, along with Blackfriars station. The south end is near the Tate Modern art gallery and the Oxo Tower.

  • Coordinates: 51.5097°N 0.1044°WCoordinates: 51.5097°N 0.1044°W
  • OS grid reference: TQ315807
  • Carries: A201 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Maintained by:
    • Bridge House Estates,
    • City of London Corporation
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Waterloo Bridge
  • Followed by: Blackfriars Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch Bridge
  • Total length: 923 feet (281 m)
  • Width: 105 feet (32 m)
  • No. of spans: 5

History

  • Designer: Joseph Cubitt
  • Constructed by: P. A. Thom & Co.
  • Opened
    • 1769 (first bridge)
    • 6 October 1869 (current bridge)

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Blackfriars Bridge seen from Waterloo Bridge

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Blackfriars Bridge with St Paul’s Cathedral behind

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Blackfriars Bridge viewed from upstream, looking south

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Blackfriars Bridge at night

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Blackfriars Rail Bridge over the River Thames in London
photographed from Blackfriars Bridge.

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Temperance, a statue atop a drinking water fountain at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge.

Waterloo Bridge


Opened in 1945, the current Waterloo Bridge earned the nickname the “Ladies Bridge” as it was built mainly by women during World War II (while many men were away fighting). The first bridge built here in 1817 was made up of nine granite arches and commemorated the victory of the British, the Dutch and the Prussians at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Waterloo Bridge (/ˌwɔːtərˈluː/) is a road and foot traffic bridge crossing the River Thames in London, between Blackfriars Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. Its name commemorates the victory of the British, the Dutch and the Prussians at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Thanks to its location at a strategic bend in the river, the views from the bridge (of Westminster, the South Bank and the London Eye to the west, and of the City of London and Canary Wharf to the east) are widely held to be the finest from any spot in London at ground level.

  • Carries: A301 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Named for: Battle of Waterloo
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure
  • Preceded by: Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges
  • Followed by: Blackfriars Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Box girder bridge
  • Total length: 1,230 feet (370 m)
  • Width: 80 feet (24 m)
  • Longest span: 233 feet (71 m)

History

  • Opened
    • (first bridge) 18 June 1817
    • (second bridge) 11 March 1942; 75 years ago

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River Thames and Waterloo Bridge
(as seen from the London Eye)

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Crowds attend the opening of the first Waterloo Bridge on 18 June 1817

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View of the Old Waterloo Bridge from Whitehall Stairs, John Constable, 18 June 1817

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Waterloo Bridge, about 1925

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The design called for supporting beams only at the outside edges, to bring “light and sweetness” to the underside–Giles Gilbert Scott, quoted in Hopkins (1970)

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Waterloo Bridge by Charles Deane, 1821

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Ships pass under Waterloo Bridge on London’s River Thames.

Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges


Opened in 2002, the two footbridges either side of the Hungerford Bridge were named in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Now a rail bridge, the Hungerford Bridge was also initially designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as a footbridge. Walk straight down to the river from Trafalgar Square and you can cross the Golden Jubilee Bridges to the Southbank Centre and the London Eye.

The Hungerford Bridge crosses the River Thames in London, and lies between Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge. It is a steel truss railway bridge – sometimes known as the Charing Cross Bridge – flanked by two more recent, cable-stayed, pedestrian bridges that share the railway bridge’s foundation piers, and which are named the Golden Jubilee Bridges.

The north end of the bridge is Charing Cross railway station, and is near Embankment Pier and the Victoria Embankment. The south end is near Waterloo station, County Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, and the London Eye. Each pedestrian bridge has steps and lift access.

  • Carries: Railway
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Preceded by: Westminster Bridge
  • Followed by: Waterloo Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design Steel truss

History

  • Opened:
    • 1864 (Hungerford Bridge)
    • 2002 (Golden Jubilee Bridges)

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Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges, seen from the north

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The Hungerford and Golden Jubilee bridges as seen from the London Eye, with Waterloo Bridge in the background

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Hungerford Bridges—one railway, two pedestrian walkways—and
Charring Cross Station viewed from the London Eye.

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Hungerford Bridges view from the River Thames in London.

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Hungerford Bridges over the River Thames in London.

Westminster Bridge


Cross the Thames at Westminster Bridge if you want to get an iconic picture of Big Ben on the north bank, or the Coca-Cola London Eye to the south. It’s the oldest road bridge across the Thames in Central London, and was designed by the same architect as the Palace of Westminster, Charles Barry.

Westminster Bridge is a road-and-foot-traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, linking Westminster on the west side and Lambeth on the east side.

The bridge is painted predominantly green, the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons which is on the side of the Palace of Westminster nearest to the bridge. This is in contrast to Lambeth Bridge, which is red, the same colour as the seats in the House of Lords and is on the opposite side of the Houses of Parliament.

In 2005–2007, it underwent a complete refurbishment, including replacing the iron fascias and repainting the whole bridge. It links the Palace of Westminster on the west side of the river with County Hall and the London Eye on the east and was the finishing point during the early years of the London Marathon.

The next bridge downstream is the Hungerford footbridge and upstream is Lambeth Bridge. Westminster Bridge was designated a Grade II* listed structure in 1981.

  • Carries: A302 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure
  • Preceded by: Lambeth Bridge
  • Followed by: Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Total length: 820 feet (250 m)
  • Width: 85 feet (26 m)
  • No. of spans: 7

History

  • Designer: Thomas Page
  • Opened
    • (first bridge) 18 November 1750
    • (second bridge) 24 May 1862

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Westminster Bridge

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Westminster Bridge by Joseph Farrington, 1789 (the original bridge)

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The first Westminster Bridge as painted by Canaletto, 1747

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Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge over the River Thames in London.

Lambeth Bridge


Charles Dickens may have considered the 1862 Lambeth Bridge “on the whole, the ugliest ever built,” but it does provide great views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye.

Lambeth Bridge is a road traffic and footbridge crossing the River Thames in an east-west direction in central London. The river flows north at the crossing point. Downstream, the next bridge is Westminster Bridge; upstream, the next bridge is Vauxhall Bridge.

The most conspicuous colour in the bridge’s paint scheme is red, the same colour as the leather benches in the House of Lords, which is at the southern end of the Palace of Westminster nearest the bridge. This is in contrast to Westminster Bridge, which is predominantly green, the same colour as the benches in the House of Commons at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament.

On the east side, in Lambeth, are Lambeth Palace, the Albert Embankment, St. Thomas’ Hospital, and the International Maritime Organization. On the west side, in Westminster, are Thames House (the headquarters of MI5), behind which is Horseferry House (the National Probation Service headquarters), and Clelland House and Abell House (the headquarters of HM Prison Service), and the Millbank Tower and Tate Britain. The Palace of Westminster is a short walk downstream to the north through the Victoria Tower Garden.

  • Coordinates: 51°29′40″N 0°07′23″WCoordinates: 51°29′40″N 0°07′23″W
  • Carries: Lambeth Road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Preceded by: Vauxhall Bridge
  • Followed by: Westminster Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch Bridge

History

  • Opened
    • (first bridge) 10 November 1862
    • (second bridge) 19 July 1932

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River Thames; Lambeth Bridge with Vauxhall Bridge in the distance (as seen from London Eye)

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Detail from upstream with DUKW, Victoria Tower in centre

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Lambeth Bridge from Millbank, facing east towards Lambeth

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The bridge nearest the camera is Westminster Bridge, the next bridge is Lambeth Bridge, and the bridge just visible in the distance is Vauxhall Bridge (as seen from the London Eye observation wheel)

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Lambeth Bridge seen from Albert Embankment, looking north, downstream. Thames House is on the far left.

Lambeth Bridge 5

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Lambeth Bridge 1

Lambeth Bridge 2

Vauxhall Bridge


A Russian delegation which visited the new Vauxhall railway station in the 1840s was so impressed that the word “voksal” entered the Russian language as the word for railway station.

Vauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a south–east north–west direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. Opened in 1906, it replaced an earlier bridge, originally known as Regent Bridge but later renamed Vauxhall Bridge, built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the south bank of the Thames. The original bridge was built on the site of a former ferry.

The building of both bridges was problematic, with both the first and second bridges requiring several redesigns from multiple architects. The original bridge, the first iron bridge over the Thames, was built by a private company and operated as a toll bridge before being taken into public ownership in 1879. The second bridge, which took eight years to build, was the first in London to carry trams and later one of the first two roads in London to have a bus lane.

In 1963 it was proposed to replace the bridge with a modern development containing seven floors of shops, office space, hotel rooms and leisure facilities supported above the river, but the plans were abandoned because of costs. With the exception of alterations to the road layout and the balustrade, the design and appearance of the current bridge has remained almost unchanged since 1907. The bridge today is an important part of London’s road system and carries the A202 road across the Thames.

  • Coordinates: 51°29′15″N 0°07′37″WCoordinates: 51°29′15″N 0°07′37″W
  • Carries: A202 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed
  • Preceded by: Grosvenor Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Lambeth Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Material: Steel and granite
  • Total length: 809 feet (247 m)
  • Width: 80 feet (24 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4
  • Clearance below: 39 feet 9 inches (12.1 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer:
    • Sir Alexander Binnie,
    • Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice
  • Opened: 26 May 1906
  • Replaces: Regent Bridge (Old Vauxhall Bridge) 1816–98

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 50,533 vehicles (2004)

Vauxhall Bridge 1

Vauxhall Bridge 2

Vauxhall Bridge 3

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Pomeroy’s Pottery

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Pomeroy’s Agriculture

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2009 view of Vauxhall Bridge, from upstream on the south bank

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The SIS Building now dominates the southern end of the bridge

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A slipway on the south bank is used by amphibious buses

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Vauxhall Bridge 5

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Chelsea Bridge


In 1851, during the construction of Chelsea Bridge, which was originally referred to as Victoria Bridge, workmen found Roman and Celtic weapons, as well as human skulls and it was thought that this might have been where Julius Caesar and his army crossed the Thames.

Chelsea Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames in west London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. There have been two Chelsea Bridges, on the site of what was an ancient ford.

The first Chelsea Bridge was proposed in the 1840s as part of a major development of marshlands on the south bank of the Thames into the new Battersea Park. It was a suspension bridge intended to provide convenient access from the densely populated north bank to the new park. Although built and operated by the government, tolls were charged initially in an effort to recoup the cost of the bridge. Work on the nearby Chelsea Embankment delayed construction and so the bridge, initially called Victoria Bridge, did not open until 1858. Although well-received architecturally, as a toll bridge it was unpopular with the public, and Parliament felt obliged to make it toll-free on Sundays. The bridge was less of a commercial success than had been anticipated, partly because of competition from the newly built Albert Bridge nearby. It was acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1877, and the tolls were abolished in 1879.

The bridge was narrow and structurally unsound, leading the authorities to rename it Chelsea Bridge to avoid the Royal Family’s association with a potential collapse. In 1926 it was proposed that the old bridge be rebuilt or replaced, due to the increased volume of users from population growth, and the introduction of the automobile. It was demolished during 1934–1937, and replaced by the current structure, which opened in 1937.

The new bridge was the first self-anchored suspension bridge in Britain, and was built entirely with materials sourced from within the British Empire. During the early 1950s it became popular with motorcyclists, who staged regular races across the bridge. One such meeting in 1970 erupted into violence, resulting in the death of one man and the imprisonment of 20 others. Chelsea Bridge is floodlit from below during the hours of darkness, when the towers and cables are illuminated by 936 feet (285 m) of light-emitting diodes. In 2008 it achieved Grade II listed status. In 2004 a smaller bridge, Battersea Footbridge, was opened beneath the southern span, carrying the Thames Path beneath the main bridge.

  • Coordinates: 51°29′5″N 0°9′0″WCoordinates: 51°29′5″N 0°9′0″W
  • Carries: A3216 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Battersea and Chelsea, London
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Albert Bridge
  • Followed by: Grosvenor Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Self-anchored suspension bridge
  • Material: Steel
  • Total length: 698 feet (213 m)
  • Width: 64 feet (20 m)
  • Height: 69 feet 2 inches (21.08 m)
  • Longest span: 332 feet (101 m)
  • No. of spans: 3
  • Piers in water: 2
  • Clearance below: 42 feet 9 inches (13.03 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: G. Topham Forrest and E. P. Wheeler
  • Opened: 6 May 1937
  • Replaces: Victoria Bridge (1858–1935), also known as Old Chelsea Bridge

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 29,375 vehicles (2004)

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With four lanes of traffic, the new bridge’s roadway is much wider than that of its predecessor.

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Being self-anchored, the bridge uniquely in London has no anchoring abutments.

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As a self-anchored bridge, the suspension cables attach directly to the deck and do not extend to the ground.

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Coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea on a Chelsea Bridge lamp post

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Chelsea Bridge’s illuminations

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Rainy day on Chelsea Bridge, London

Albert Bridge


Albert Bridge is a road bridge crossing the Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south. It is one of only two road bridges in London to never have been replaced, despite calls for its demolition during the 20th century when it became clear the bridge was struggling to support an increasing number of motor vehicles. With its unique design and unusual colour scheme, the bridge is now an English Heritage Grade II listed building.

The Albert Bridge is a road bridge over the River Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. Designed and built by Rowland Mason Ordish in 1873 as an Ordish–Lefeuvre system modified cable-stayed bridge, it proved to be structurally unsound, so between 1884 and 1887 Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated some of the design elements of a suspension bridge. In 1973 the Greater London Council added two concrete piers, which transformed the central span into a simple beam bridge. As a result, today the bridge is an unusual hybrid of three different design styles. It is an English Heritage Grade II* listed building.

Built as a toll bridge, it was commercially unsuccessful. Six years after its opening it was taken into public ownership and the tolls were lifted. The tollbooths remained in place and are the only surviving examples of bridge tollbooths in London. Nicknamed “The Trembling Lady” because of its tendency to vibrate when large numbers of people walked over it, the bridge has signs at its entrances that warned troops to break step whilst crossing the bridge.

Incorporating a roadway only 27 feet (8.2 m) wide, and with serious structural weaknesses, the bridge was ill-equipped to cope with the advent of the motor vehicle during the 20th century. Despite the many calls for its demolition or pedestrianisation, the Albert Bridge has remained open to vehicles throughout its existence, other than for brief spells during repairs, and is one of only two Thames road bridges in central London never to have been replaced. The strengthening work carried out by Bazalgette and the Greater London Council did not prevent further deterioration of the bridge’s structure. A series of increasingly strict traffic control measures have been introduced to limit its use and thus prolong its life, making it the least busy Thames road bridge in London, except for the little-used Southwark Bridge. The bridge’s condition is continuing to degrade as the result of traffic load and severe rotting of the timber deck structure caused by the urine of the many dogs using it as a route to nearby Battersea Park.

In 1992, the Albert Bridge was rewired and painted in an unusual colour scheme designed to make it more conspicuous in poor visibility, and avoid being damaged by ships. At night it is illuminated by 4,000 bulbs, making it one of west London’s most striking landmarks. In 2010–2011, these were replaced with LEDs.

  • Coordinates: 51.4823°N 0.1667°WCoordinates: 51.4823°N 0.1667°W
  • Carries: A3031 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Battersea and Chelsea, London
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure
  • Preceded by: Battersea Bridge
  • Followed by: Chelsea Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Ordish–Lefeuvre system, subsequently modified to an Ordish–Lefeuvre system / suspension bridge / beam bridge hybrid design
  • Total length: 710 feet (220 m)
  • Width: 41 feet (12 m)
  • Height: 66 feet (20 m)
  • Longest span: 
    • 384 feet 9 inches (117.27 m) (before 1973)
    • 185 feet (56 m) (after 1973)
  • No. of spans: 4 (3 before 1973)
  • Piers in water: 6 (4 before 1973)
  • Clearance below: 37 feet 9 inches (11.5 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: Rowland Mason Ordish, Joseph Bazalgette
  • Opened: 23 August 1873

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 19,821 vehicles (2004)

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Battersea Bridge


Built in 1890, Battersea Bridge is the narrowest road bridge over the Thames. Before the current bridge was built, the river could be crossed at this point by the very last wooden bridge on the Thames.

Battersea Bridge is a five-span arch bridge with cast-iron girders and granite piers crossing the River Thames in London, England. It is situated on a sharp bend in the river, and links Battersea south of the river with Chelsea to the north. The bridge replaced a ferry service that had operated near the site since at least the middle of the 16th century.

The first Battersea Bridge was a toll bridge commissioned by John, Earl Spencer, who had recently acquired the rights to operate the ferry. Although a stone bridge was planned, difficulties in raising investment meant that a cheaper wooden bridge was built instead. Designed by Henry Holland, it was initially opened to pedestrians in November 1771, and to vehicle traffic in 1772. The bridge was inadequately designed and dangerous both to its users and to passing shipping, and boats often collided with it. To reduce the dangers to shipping, two piers were removed and the sections of the bridge above them were strengthened with iron girders.

Although dangerous and unpopular, the bridge was the last surviving wooden bridge on the Thames in London, and was the subject of paintings by many significant artists such as J. M. W. Turner, John Sell Cotman and James McNeill Whistler, including Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge, and his controversial Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket.

In 1879 the bridge was taken into public ownership, and in 1885 demolished and replaced with the existing bridge, designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and built by John Mowlem & Co. The narrowest surviving road bridge over the Thames in London, it is one of London’s least busy Thames bridges. The location on a bend in the river makes the bridge a hazard to shipping, and it has been closed many times due to collisions.

  • Coordinates: 51°28′52″N 0°10′21″WCoordinates: 51°28′52″N 0°10′21″W
  • Carries: A3220 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Battersea Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Albert Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Material: Cast iron and granite
  • Total length: 725 feet 6 inches (221.13 m)
  • Width: 40 feet (12 m)
  • Longest span: 163 feet (50 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4
  • Clearance below: 38 feet 9 inches (11.8 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer Joseph Bazalgette
  • Opened 21 July 1890
  • Replaces Old Battersea Bridge (1771–1885) a.k.a. Chelsea Bridge

Statistics

  • Daily traffic 26,041 vehicles (2004)

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Wandsworth Bridge


The current Wandsworth Bridge was opened in 1940, and painted in dull shades of blue to as camouflage against air raids. While the bridge is one of the busiest in London, carrying more than 50,000 vehicles a day, it has been described as “probably the least noteworthy” bridge in the city.

Wandsworth Bridge crosses the River Thames in west London. It carries the A217 road between the area of Battersea, near Wandsworth Town Station, in the London Borough of Wandsworth on the south of the river, and the areas of Sands End and Parsons Green, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, on the north side.

The first bridge on the site was a toll bridge built by Julian Tolmé in 1873, in the expectation that the western terminus of the Hammersmith and City Railway would shortly be built on the north bank, leading to a sharp increase in the number of people wanting to cross the river at this point. The railway terminus was not built, and problems with drainage on the approach road made access to the bridge difficult for vehicles. Wandsworth Bridge was commercially unsuccessful, and in 1880 it was taken into public ownership and made toll-free. Tolmé’s bridge was narrow and too weak to carry buses, and in 1926 a Royal Commission recommended its replacement.

In 1937 Tolmé’s bridge was demolished. The present bridge, an unadorned steel cantilever bridge designed by Sir Thomas Peirson Frank, was opened in 1940. At the time of its opening it was painted in dull shades of blue as camouflage against air raids, a colour scheme it retains. Although Wandsworth Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in London, carrying over 50,000 vehicles daily, it has been described as “probably the least noteworthy bridge in London”.

  • Coordinates: 51.46500°N 0.18806°WCoordinates: 51.46500°N 0.18806°W
  • Carries: A217 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Preceded by: Fulham Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Battersea Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Cantilever bridge
  • Material: Steel
  • Total length: 650 feet (200 m)
  • Width: 60 feet (18 m)
  • No. of spans: 3
  • Clearance below: 39 feet (11.9 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: Thomas Peirson Frank
  • Opened:
    • 26 September 1873 (first bridge)
    • 25 September 1940 (second bridge)

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 53,299 vehicles (2004)

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Putney Bridge


Putney Bridge crosses the Thames between Putney and Fulham, and has been the starting point for the annual Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race since it began in 1845. 

Putney Bridge is a bridge crossing of the River Thames in west London, linking Putney on the south side with Fulham to the north. The bridge has medieval parish churches at each end: St. Mary’s Church, Putney is located on the south and All Saints Church, Fulham on the north bank. Putney Bridge is the only bridge in Britain to have a church at both ends.

The current format is three lanes southbound (including one bus lane) and one lane (including cycle lane/bus stop) northbound. Putney High Street, a main approach, is the main axis of a very commercial district centre.

  • Carries: A219 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure
  • Preceded by: Hammersmith Bridge
  • Followed by: Fulham Railway Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch bridge
  • Total length: 700 feet (210 m)
  • Width: 43 feet (13 m)

History

  • Opened:
    • 29 November 1729 (first bridge)
    • 29 May 1886 (second bridge)

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Hammersmith Bridge


The first boat race between Putney and Mortlake took place in 1845, and Hammersmith Bridge became a popular vantage point. Mayhem ensued, with up to 12,000 people crowding on, causing concern about the strain this was causing to the bridge. Since 1882, the bridge has been closed on race day, but normally takes you between Hammersmith on the north bank across the river to Barnes.

Hammersmith Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the River Thames in west London. It allows road traffic and pedestrians to cross from the southern part of Hammersmith in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, on the north side of the river, to Barnes in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, on the south side of the river. The current bridge, which is Grade II* listed and was designed by the noted civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette, is the second permanent bridge on the site.

  • Carries: A306 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: London, England
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure[1]
  • Preceded by: Barnes Railway Bridge
  • Followed by: Putney Bridge

Characteristics

  • Design: Suspension bridge
  • Total length: 700 ft (210 m)
  • Width: 43 ft (13 m)

History

  • Opened:
    • 6 October 1827 (first bridge)
    • 11 June 1887 (current bridge)

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Chiswick Bridge


It was the first of three London bridges opened on the same day. On 3 July 1933, Chiswick Bridge opened at 4.30pm, Twickenham at 5pm and Hampton Court at 5.30pm. Before Chiswick Bridge was built, people would cross the river by ferry.

Chiswick Bridge is a reinforced concrete deck arch bridge over the River Thames in west London. One of three bridges opened in 1933 as part of an ambitious scheme to relieve traffic congestion west of London, it carries the A316 road between Chiswick on the north bank of the Thames and Mortlake on the south bank.

Built on the site of a former ferry, the bridge is 606 feet (185 m) long and faced with 3,400 tons of Portland stone. At the time of its opening its 150-foot (46 m) central span was the longest concrete span over the Thames. The bridge is possibly best known today for its proximity to the end of The Championship Course, the stretch of the Thames used for the Boat Race and other rowing races.

  • Coordinates: 51°28′23″N 0°16′11″WCoordinates: 51°28′23″N 0°16′11″W
  • Carries: A316 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Mortlake and Chiswick

Characteristics

  • Design: Deck arch bridge
  • Material: Reinforced concrete, Portland stone
  • Total length: 606 feet (185 m)
  • Width: 70 feet (21 m)
  • Longest span: 150 feet (46 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 2
  • Clearance below: 39 feet (12 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: Sir Herbert Baker and Alfred Dryland
  • Constructed by: Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company
  • Opened: 3 July 1933

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 39,710 vehicles (2004)

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Kew Bridge


Kew Bridge takes you from the train station of the same name across the Thames to Kew Gardens. The Museum of London also holds all the objects presented to King Edward VII on the day the bridge first opened, as it was originally named King Edward VII Bridge. These include the silver mallet and trowel he used, as well as a bronze axe.

Kew Bridge is a Grade II listed bridge over the River Thames in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and the London Borough of Hounslow. The present bridge, which was opened in 1903 as King Edward VII Bridge by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, was designed by John Wolfe-Barry and Cuthbert A Brereton. It was given Grade II listed structure protection in 1983.

  • Carries A205 road
  • Crosses River Thames
  • Locale Kew
  • Heritage status Grade II listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch
  • Material: Granite
  • Total length: 1,182 feet (360 m)
  • Width: 75 feet (23 m)
  • Longest span: 133 feet (41 m)
  • No. of spans: 3
  • Piers in water: 2

History

  • Designer: John Wolfe-Barry and Cuthbert A Brereton
  • Opened: 1903

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The current (third) Kew Bridge

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Twickenham Bridge


Twickenham Bridge was designed by Maxwell Ayrton, the architect of the original Wembley Stadium and a pioneer of the architectural use of concrete. It provides a crossing between Twickenham and St. Margarets, and Richmond.

Twickenham Bridge crosses the River Thames in southwest London, England. Built in 1933 as part of the newly constructed “Chertsey Arterial Road”, the bridge connects the Old Deer Park district of Richmond (historically Surrey) on the south bank of the river to St. Margarets (historically Middlesex) on the north bank, both within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Twickenham Bridge gets its name from the fact that it is on the road to the town of Twickenham (also in the same London borough), which is approximately 3 km upstream from Twickenham Bridge, past Richmond Bridge.

The bridge forms part of today’s A316 (Chertsey Road), which links Central and West London with the M3 motorway at Sunbury-on-Thames.

The bridge’s architect was Maxwell Ayrton and the head engineer was Alfred Dryland. The proposed design of the bridge envisaged four 70 foot towers to be constructed on the riverbanks with retaining walls of 20 feet above road level. The plans were widely opposed and a local petition was organised by the Daily Telegraph against the design on the grounds that it was inappropriate to the setting in Richmond.

The final design of the bridge was of three reinforced-concrete arches supported on concrete piers with Art Deco embellishments. The bridge incorporates three permanent hinges enabling the structure to adjust to changes in temperature, the first reinforced concrete bridge structure in the UK to use such an innovation. The arch springings, as well as the arch crowns, have decorative bronze cover plates.

Ribbed shuttering was used in the casting of the concrete piers and abutments, giving the main faces a ribbed finish that was then knocked back. The approach viaduct and retaining walls were constructed in precast blocks that were wire brushed to create a rough finish. The balustrades and lamps were constructed of open bronzework. The Bromsgrove Guild was employed in casting and fitting the bronze lamp standards and parapets as well as the railings on the four staircases between road level and the river bank.

The bridge was opened on 3 July 1933 by Edward, Prince of Wales.

In 1992, the first Gatso speed camera in the United Kingdom was launched on Twickenham Bridge.

The bridge was declared a Grade II* listed structure in 2008, providing protection to preserve its special character from unsympathetic development.

  • Coordinates: 51°27′38″N 0°18′52″W
  • Carries: A316 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale: Richmond / St. Margarets
  • Heritage status: Grade II* listed structure

History

  • Opened: 3 July 1933

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Richmond Bridge


Like its neighbour, Richmond Bridge also crosses the Thames between Twickenham and Richmond. Built between 1774 and 1777 as a replacement for a ferry crossing, it is now the oldest surviving Thames bridge in London.

Richmond Bridge is an 18th-century stone arch bridge that crosses the River Thames at Richmond, connecting the two halves of the present-day London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It was designed by James Paine and Kenton Couse.

The bridge, which is a Grade I listed, was built between 1774 and 1777, as a replacement for a ferry crossing which connected Richmond town centre on the east bank with its neighbouring district of East Twickenham to the west. Its construction was privately funded by a tontine scheme, for which tolls were charged until 1859.

Because the river meanders from its general west to east direction, flowing from southeast to northwest in this part of London, what would otherwise be known as the north and south banks are often referred to as the “Middlesex” (Twickenham) and “Surrey” (Richmond) banks respectively, named after the historic counties to which each side once belonged.

The bridge was widened and slightly flattened in 1937–40, but otherwise still conforms to its original design. The eighth Thames bridge to be built in what is now Greater London, it is today the oldest surviving Thames bridge in London.

  • Coordinates: 51.45725°N 0.30732°WCoordinates: 51.45725°N 0.30732°W
  • Carries: A305 road
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale
    • Richmond, London
    • Twickenham
  • Heritage status: Grade I listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design: Stone arch bridge
  • Material: Portland stone
  • Total length: 300 feet (91 m)
  • Width: 36 feet (11 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4
  • Clearance below: 26 feet (7.9 m) at lowest astronomical tide

History

  • Designer: James Paine, Kenton Couse
  • Opened: 1777

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 34,484 vehicles (2004)

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Kingston Bridge


At the Kingston end of the bridge, a ducking stool into the Thames for “punishing nagging wives” was recorded as being in use until 1738. It’s a very short walk from the other side of Kingston Bridge to the huge park at Hampton Wick.

Kingston Bridge is a road bridge at Kingston upon Thames in south west London, England, carrying the A308 across the River Thames. It joins the town centre of Kingston in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, to Hampton Court Park, Bushy Park, and the village of Hampton Wick in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In 2005 it was carrying approximately 50,000 vehicles per day with up to 2,000 vehicles per hour in each direction during peak times.

Kingston Bridge is on the reach above Teddington Lock and close to and downstream of the mouth of the Hogsmill River, a minor tributary of the Thames. It is on the route of the Thames Path and is the end point for the Thames Down Link long distance footpath from Box Hill station.

  • Coordinates 51°24′40″N 0°18′32″W
  • Carries A308 road
  • Crosses River Thames
  • Locale Kingston upon Thames
  • Heritage status Grade II* listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design: Arch
  • Material: Stone
  • Total length: 382 feet 0 inches (116.43 m)
  • Height: 23 feet 11 inches (7.29 m)[1]
  • Longest span: 60 feet 0 inches (18.29 m)
  • No. of spans: 5
  • Piers in water: 4

History

  • Designer: Edward Lapidge
  • Opened: 17 July 1828

Statistics

  • Daily traffic: 50,000 vehicles
  • Toll :Abolished 1870

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Kingston Bridge from upstream at Kingston

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Hampton Court Bridge


The furthest upstream Thames Bridge in Greater London, Hampton Court Bridge crosses the Thames from Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Bridge crosses the River Thames in England approximately north–south between Hampton, London and East Molesey, Surrey. It is the upper of two road bridges on the reach above Teddington Lock and downstream of Molesey Lock.

The bridge is the most upstream crossing of all of the Thames bridges of Greater London; uniquely one bank is within the county.

  • Coordinates: 51°24′14″N 0°20′33″W
  • Crosses: River Thames
  • Locale:
    • East Molesey
    • Hampton Court Palace
  • Heritage status: Grade II listed structure

Characteristics

  • Design Arch
  • Material Concrete with a brick finish
  • Height 19 ft 5 in (5.9 m)[1]
  • No. of spans 3
  • Piers in water 2

History

  • Designer
    • W. P. Robinson
    • Sir Edward Lutyens
  • Opened: 3 July 1933

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Hampton Court bridge in 2006

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London Eye

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. As of January 2015, it has been advertised as the Coca-Cola London Eye.

The structure is 443 feet (135 m) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 394 feet (120 m). When it opened to the public in 2000 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Its height was surpassed by the 520 feet (158 m) tall Star of Nanchang in 2006, the 541 feet (165 m) tall Singapore Flyer in 2008, and the 550 feet (168 m) High Roller (Las Vegas) in 2014. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel”.

It is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, and offered the highest public viewing point in London until it was superseded by the 804 feet (245 m) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually, and has made many appearances in popular culture.

The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens (previously the site of the former Dome of Discovery), on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth.

Contents
1 History
1.1 Predecessor
1.2 Design and construction
1.3 Opening
2 Passenger capsules
3 Ownership and branding
4 Financial difficulties
5 Critical reception
6 Transport links

History


Predecessor

A predecessor to the London Eye, the Great Wheel, was built for the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court and opened to the public on 17 July 1895. Modelled on the original Chicago Ferris Wheel, it was 94 metres (308 ft) tall and 82.3 metres (270 ft) in diameter. It stayed in service until 1906, by which time its 40 cars (each with a capacity of 40 persons) had carried over 2.5 million passengers. The Great Wheel was demolished in 1907 following its last use at the Imperial Austrian Exhibition.

Design and Construction

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Supported by an A-frame on one side only, the Eye is described by its operators as a cantilevered observation wheel

The London Eye was designed by architects Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, and the husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks.

Mace was responsible for construction management, with Hollandia as the main steelwork contractor and Tilbury Douglas as the civil contractor. Consulting engineers Tony Gee & Partners designed the foundation works while Beckett Rankine designed the marine works.

Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners assisted The Tussauds Group in obtaining planning and listed building consent to alter the wall on the South Bank of the Thames. They also examined and reported on the implications of a Section 106 agreement attached to the original contract, and also prepared planning and listed building consent applications for the permanent retention of the attraction, which involved the co-ordination of an Environmental Statement and the production of a planning supporting statement detailing the reasons for its retention.

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The spindle, hub, and tensioned cables that support the rim

The rim of the Eye is supported by tensioned steel cables and resembles a huge spoked bicycle wheel. The lighting was redone with LED lighting from Color Kinetics in December 2006 to allow digital control of the lights as opposed to the manual replacement of gels over fluorescent tubes.

The wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river. Once the wheel was complete it was lifted into an upright position by a strand jack system made by Enerpac. It was first raised at 2 degrees per hour until it reached 65 degrees, then left in that position for a week while engineers prepared for the second phase of the lift. The project was European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany (FAG/Schaeffler Group), the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France (and the glass for these came from Italy), and the electrical components from the UK.

Opening

The London Eye was formally opened by then Prime Minister Tony Blair on 31 December 1999, but did not open to the paying public until 9 March 2000 because of a capsule clutch problem.

On 5 June 2008 it was announced that 30 million people had ridden the London Eye since it opened.

Passenger Capsules


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Each of the 32 ovoidal capsules weighs 10 tonnes and can carry 25 people

The wheel’s 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules, designed and supplied by Poma, are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors. Each of the 10-tonne (11-short-ton) capsules represents one of the London Boroughs, and holds up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided. The wheel rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second (about 0.9 kph or 0.6 mph) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. It does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is, however, stopped to allow disabled or elderly passengers time to embark and disembark safely.
In 2009 the first stage of a £12.5 million capsule upgrade began. Each capsule was taken down and floated down the river to Tilbury Docks in Essex.

On 2 June 2013 a passenger capsule was named the Coronation Capsule to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ownership and Branding


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London Eye at Twilight

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The Eye on the South Bank of the Thames, with Jubilee Gardens (left) and County Hall (right) in the background

Marks Barfield (the lead architects), Tussauds Group, and British Airways were the original owners of the London Eye. Tussauds bought out British Airways in 2005 and then Marks Barfield in 2006 to become sole owner. Ownership passed to Merlin Entertainments when it purchased Tussauds in 2007. British Airways continued its brand association, but from the beginning of 2008 the name ‘British Airways’ was dropped from the logo.

On 12 August 2009 the London Eye saw another rebrand, this time being called “The Merlin Entertainments London Eye” to show Merlin Entertainments’ ownership. A new logo was designed for the attraction—this time taking the form of an eye made out of London’s famous landmarks. This coincided with the launch of Merlin Entertainments 4D Experience preflight show underneath the ticket centre in County Hall. The refurbished ticket hall and 4D cinema experience were designed by architect Kay Elliott working with Merlin Studios project designer Craig Sciba. Merlin Studios later appointed Simex-Iwerks as the 4D theatre hardware specialists. The film was written and directed by 3D director Julian Napier and 3D produced by Phil Streather.

In January 2011, a lighting-up ceremony marked the start of a three-year deal between EDF Energy and Merlin Entertainments. On 1 August 2014 the logo was reverted to the previous “The Merlin Entertainments London Eye” version, with the name becoming simply “The London Eye”.

In September 2014, Coca-Cola signed an agreement to sponsor the London Eye for two years, starting from January 2015. On the day of the announcement, the London Eye was lit in red.

Financial Difficulties


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Colourful London Eye near County Hall

On 20 May 2005, there were reports of a leaked letter showing that the South Bank Centre (SBC)—owners of part of the land on which the struts of the Eye are located—had served a notice to quit on the attraction along with a demand for an increase in rent from £64,000 per year to £2.5 million, which the operators rejected as unaffordable.

On 25 May 2005, London mayor Ken Livingstone vowed that the landmark would remain in London. He also pledged that if the dispute was not resolved he would use his powers to ask the London Development Agency to issue a compulsory purchase order. The land in question is a small part of the Jubilee Gardens, which was given to the SBC for £1 when the Greater London Council was broken up.

The South Bank Centre and the British Airways London Eye agreed on a 25-year lease on 8 February 2006 after a judicial review over the rent dispute. The lease agreement meant that the South Bank Centre, a publicly funded charity, would receive at least £500,000 a year from the attraction, the status of which is secured for the foreseeable future. Tussauds also announced the acquisition of the entire one-third interests of British Airways and Marks Barfield in the Eye as well as the outstanding debt to BA. These agreements gave Tussauds 100% ownership and resolved the debt from the Eye’s construction loan from British Airways, which stood at more than £150 million by mid-2005 and had been increasing at 25% per annum.

Critical Reception


Sir Richard Rogers, winner of the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize, wrote of the London Eye in a book about the project:

The Eye has done for London what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris, which is to give it a symbol and to let people climb above the city and look back down on it. Not just specialists or rich people, but everybody. That’s the beauty of it: it is public and accessible, and it is in a great position at the heart of London.

Writing for G2 in an article from August 2007, Steve Rose described the Eye as follows:
The Eye… exists in a category of its own…. It essentially has to fulfil only one function, and what a brilliantly inessential function it is: to lift people up from the ground, take them round a giant loop in the sky, then put them back down where they started. That is all it needs to do, and thankfully, that is all it does.

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Transport links


The nearest London Underground station is Waterloo, although Charing Cross, Embankment, and Westminster are also within easy walking distance.
Connection with National Rail services is made at London Waterloo station and London Waterloo East station.
London River Services operated by Thames Clippers and City Cruises stop at the London Eye Pier.

Trafalgar Square

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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View of the square in 2009

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Location within Central London

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square (/ˌtrəˈfælɡər/ trə-FAL-gər) is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, Spain.

The site of Trafalgar Square had been a significant landmark since the 13th century and originally contained the King’s Mews. After George IV moved the mews to Buckingham Palace, the area was redeveloped by John Nash, but progress was slow after his death, and the square did not open until 1844. The 169-foot (52 m) Nelson’s Column at its centre is guarded by four lion statues. A number of commemorative statues and sculptures occupy the square, but the Fourth Plinth, left empty since 1840, has been host to contemporary art since 1999.

The square has been used for community gatherings and political demonstrations, including Bloody Sunday, the first Aldermaston March, anti-war protests, and campaigns against climate change. A Christmas tree has been donated to the square by Norway since 1947 and is erected for twelve days before and after Christmas Day. The square is a centre of annual celebrations on New Year’s Eve. It was well known for its feral pigeons until their removal in the early 21st century.

Contents
1 Geography
2 History
2.1 Clearance and development
2.2 Nelson’s Column
2.3 Redevelopment
3 Statues and monuments
3.1 Plinths
3.1.1 Fourth plinth
3.2 Other sculptures
4 Fountains
5 Pigeons
6 Events
6.1 New Year
6.2 Christmas
6.3 Political demonstrations
6.4 Sport
6.5 Other uses
7 Other Trafalgar Squares

Geography


Trafalgar Square is owned by the Queen in Right of the Crown[a] and managed by the Greater London Authority, while Westminster City Council owns the roads around the square, including the pedestrianised area of the North Terrace. The square contains a large central area with roadways on three sides and a terrace to the north, in front of the National Gallery. The roads around the square form part of the A4, a major road running west of the City of London. The square was formerly surrounded by a one-way traffic system, but works completed in 2003 reduced the width of the roads and closed the northern side to traffic.

Nelson’s Column is in the centre of the square flanked by fountains designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1937 and 1939 as replacements for two fountains of Peterhead granite (now in Canada) and guarded by four monumental bronze lions sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer. At the top of the column is a statue of Horatio Nelson who commanded the British Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Surrounding the square are the National Gallery on the north side and St Martin-in-the-Fields Church to the east. To the south west is The Mall leading towards Buckingham Palace via Admiralty Arch, while Whitehall is to the south and the Strand to the east. Charing Cross Road passes between the National Gallery and the church.

London Underground’s Charing Cross tube station on the Northern and Bakerloo lines has an exit in the square. The lines had separate stations, of which the Bakerloo line one was called Trafalgar Square until they were linked and renamed in 1979 as part of the construction of the Jubilee line, which was rerouted to Westminster tube station in 1999. Other nearby tube stations are Embankment connecting the District, Circle, Northern and Bakerloo lines, and Leicester Square on the Northern and Piccadilly lines.

London bus routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 29, 53, 87, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176, 453 pass through Trafalgar Square.

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Trafalgar Square, 1908

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A 360-degree view of Trafalgar Square in 2009

History


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A painting by James Pollard showing the square

A painting by James Pollard showing the square before the erection of Nelson’s Column

Building work on the south side of the square in the late 1950s revealed deposits from the last interglacial. Among the findings were the remains of cave lion, rhinoceros, straight-tusked elephant and hippopotamus.

The site of Trafalgar Square has been a significant location since the 13th century. During Edward I’s reign, the area was the site of the King’s Mews, running north from the original Charing Cross, where the Strand from the City met Whitehall coming north from Westminster. From the reign of Richard II to that of Henry VII, the mews was at the western end of the Strand. The name “Royal Mews” comes from the practice of keeping hawks here for moulting; “mew” is an old word for this. After a fire in 1534, the mews were rebuilt as stables, and remained here until George IV moved them to Buckingham Palace.

Clearance and Development

After 1732, the King’s Mews were divided into the Great Mews and the smaller Green Mews to the north by the Crown Stables, a large block, built to the designs of William Kent. Its site is occupied by the National Gallery. In 1826 the Commissioners of H.M. Woods, Forests and Land Revenues instructed John Nash to draw up plans for clearing a large area south of Kent’s stable block, and as far east as St Martin’s Lane. His plans left open the whole area of what became Trafalgar Square, except for a block in the centre, which he reserved for a new building for the Royal Academy. The plans included the demolition and redevelopment of buildings between St Martin’s Lane and the Strand and the construction of a road (now called Duncannon Street) across the churchyard of St Martin-in-the-Fields. The Charing Cross Act was passed in 1826 and clearance started soon after. Nash died soon after construction started, impeding its progress. The square was to be named for William IV commemorating his ascent to the throne in 1830. Around 1835, it was decided that the square would be named after the Battle of Trafalgar as suggested by architect George Ledwell Taylor, commemorating Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars.

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Ten frames of Trafalgar Square shot by Wordsworth Donisthorpe in 1890

After the clearance, development progressed slowly. The National Gallery was built on the north side between 1832 and 1838 to a design by William Wilkins, and in 1837 the Treasury approved Wilkins’ plan for the laying out of the square, but it was not put into effect. In April 1840, following Wilkins’ death, new plans by Charles Barry were accepted, and construction started within weeks. For Barry, as for Wilkins, a major consideration was increasing the visual impact of the National Gallery, which had been widely criticised for its lack of grandeur. He dealt with the complex sloping site by excavating the main area to the level of the footway between Cockspur Street and the Strand, and constructing a 15-foot (4.6 m) high balustraded terrace with a roadway on the north side, and steps at each end leading to the main level. Wilkins had proposed a similar solution with a central flight of steps. Plinths were provided for sculpture and pedestals for lighting. All the stonework was of Aberdeen granite. In 1841 it was decided that two fountains should be included in the layout. The estimated budget, excluding paving and sculptures, was £11,000. The earth removed was used to level Green Park. The square was originally surfaced with tarmacadam, which was replaced with stone in the 1920s.

Trafalgar Square was opened to the public on 1 May 1844.

Nelson’s Column

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The lions at Nelson’s Column were not finished until nearly 30 years after the square opened.

Nelson’s Column was planned independently of Barry’s work. In 1838 a Nelson Memorial Committee had approached the government proposing that a monument to the victor of Trafalgar, funded by public subscription, should be erected in the square. A competition was held and won by the architect William Railton, who proposed a 218 feet 3 inches (66.52 m) Corinthinan column topped by a statue of Nelson and guarded by four sculpted lions. The design was approved, but received widespread objections from the public. Construction went ahead beginning in 1840 but with the height reduced to 145 feet 3 inches (44.27 m). The column was completed and the statue raised in November 1843.

The last of the bronze reliefs on the column’s pedestals was not completed until May 1854, and the four lions, although part of the original design, were only added in 1867. Each lion weighs seven tons. A hoarding remained around the base of Nelson’s Column for some years and some of its upper scaffolding remained in place. Landseer, the sculptor, had asked for a lion that had died at the London Zoo to be brought to his studio. He took so long to complete sketches that its corpse began to decompose and some parts had to be improvised. The statues have paws that resemble cats more than lions.

]arry was unhappy about Nelson’s Column being placed in the square. In July 1840, when its foundations had been laid, he told a parliamentary select committee that “it would in my opinion be desirable that the area should be wholly free from all insulated objects of art”.

In 1940 the Nazi SS developed secret plans to transfer Nelson’s Column to Berlin[b] after an expected German invasion, as related by Norman Longmate in If Britain Had Fallen (1972).

The square has been Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens since 1996.

Redevelopment

A major 18-month redevelopment of the square led by W.S. Atkins with Foster and Partners as sub-consultants was completed in 2003. The work involved closing the eastbound road along the north side and diverting traffic around the other three sides of the square, demolishing the central section of the northern retaining wall and inserting a wide set of steps to the pedestrianised terrace in front of the National Gallery. The construction includes two lifts for disabled access, public toilets and a café. Access between the square and the gallery had been by two crossings at the northeast and northwest corners.

Statues and Monuments


Plinths

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The statue of Sir Henry Havelock by William Behnes

Barry’s scheme provided two plinths for sculptures on the north side of the square. A bronze equestrian statue of George IV by Sir Francis Chantrey, originally intended to be placed on top of the Marble Arch, was installed on the eastern plinth in 1844, while the other remained empty until the late-20th century. There are two other statues on plinths, both installed during the 19th century: General Sir Charles James Napier by George Cannon Adams in the south-west corner in 1855, and Major-General Sir Henry Havelock by William Behnes in the south-east in 1861. In 2000, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, suggested replacing the statues with figures more familiar to the general public.

Fourth Plinth

In the 21st century, the empty plinth in the north-west corner of the square, the “Fourth Plinth”, has been used to show specially commissioned artworks. The scheme was initiated by the Royal Society of Arts and continued by the Fourth Plinth Commission, appointed by the Mayor of London.

A new sculpture, The Gift Horse designed by Hans Haacke was installed on the fourth plinth on 5 March 2015. It is a model of a horse’s skeleton with a live display of the London Stock Exchange.

Other Sculptures

There are three busts of admirals against the north wall of the square. Those of Lord Jellicoe by Sir Charles Wheeler and Lord Beatty, by William MacMillan were installed in 1948 in conjunction with the square’s fountains, which also commemorate them. The third, of the Second World War First Sea Lord Admiral Cunningham by Franta Belsky was unveiled alongside them on 2 April 1967.

On the south side on the site of the original Charing Cross, is a bronze equestrian statue of Charles I by Hubert Le Sueur. It was cast in 1633, and placed in its present position in 1678.

The two statues on the lawn in front of the National Gallery are the statue of James II by Grinling Gibbons to the west of the portico, and of one George Washington, a replica of a work by Jean-Antoine Houdon, to the east that was a gift from the Commonwealth of Virginia installed in 1921.

Two statues erected in the 19th century have since been removed. One of Edward Jenner, pioneer of the smallpox vaccine, was set up in the south-west corner of the square in 1858, next to that of Napier. Sculpted by William Calder Marshall, it showed Jenner sitting in a chair in a relaxed pose, and was inaugurated at a ceremony presided over by Prince Albert. It was moved to Kensington Gardens in 1862. The other, of General Charles George Gordon by Hamo Thornycroft, was erected on an 18-foot high pedestal between the fountains in 1888. It was removed in 1943 and re-sited on the Victoria Embankment ten years later.

Fountains


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Fountain at Trafalgar Square, 2014

In 1841, following suggestions from the local paving board, Barry agreed that two fountains should be installed to counteract the effects of reflected heat and glare from the asphalt surface. The First Commissioner of Woods and Forests welcomed the plan because the fountains reduced the open space available for public gatherings and reduced the risk of riotous assembly. The fountains were fed from two wells, one in front of the National Gallery and one behind it connected by a tunnel. Water was pumped to the fountains by a steam engine housed in a building behind the gallery.

In the late-1930s it was decided to replace the pump and the centrepieces of the fountains. The new centrepieces, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, were memorials to Lord Jellicoe and Lord Beatty, although busts of the admirals, initially intended to be placed in the fountain surrounds were placed against the northern retaining wall when the project was completed after the Second World War. The fountains cost almost £50,000. The old ones were presented to the Canadian government and are now located in Ottawa’s Confederation Park and Regina’s Wascana Centre.

A programme of restoration was completed by May 2009. The pump system was replaced with one capable of sending an 80-foot (24 m) jet of water into the air. A LED lighting system that can project different combinations of colours on to the fountains was installed to reduce the cost of lighting maintenance and to coincide with the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Pigeons


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People sitting on lions and feeding pigeons in the square

The square was once famous for feral pigeons and feeding them was a popular activity. Pigeons began flocking to the square before construction was completed and feed sellers became well known in the Victorian era. The desirability of the birds’ presence was contentious: their droppings disfigured the stonework and the flock, estimated at its peak to be 35,000, was considered a health hazard. A stall seller, Bernie Rayner, infamously sold bird seed to tourists at inflated prices.

In February 2001, the sale of bird seed in the square was stopped and other measures were introduced to discourage the pigeons including the use of birds of prey. Supporters continued to feed the birds but in 2003 the mayor, Ken Livingstone, enacted bylaws to ban feeding them in the square. In September 2007 Westminster City Council passed further bylaws banning feeding birds on the pedestrianised North Terrace and other pavements in the area. Nelson’s column was repaired from years of damage from pigeon droppings at a cost of £140,000.

Events


New Year

For many years, revellers celebrating the New Year have gathered in the square despite a lack of celebrations being arranged. The lack of official events was partly because the authorities were concerned that encouraging more partygoers would cause overcrowding. Since 2003, a firework display centred on the London Eye and South Bank of the Thames has been provided as an alternative. Since 2014, New Year celebrations have been organised by the Greater London Authority in conjunction with the charity Unicef, who began ticketing the event to control crowd numbers.

Christmas

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The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree in 2008

A Christmas ceremony has been held in the square every year since 1947. A Norway spruce (or sometimes a fir) is presented by Norway’s capital city, Oslo as London’s Christmas tree, a token of gratitude for Britain’s support during World War II. (Besides war-time support, Norway’s Prince Olav and the country’s government lived in exile in London throughout the war.)

The Christmas tree is decorated with lights that are switched on at a seasonal ceremony. It is usually held twelve days before Christmas Day. The festivity is open to the public and attracts a large number of people. The switch-on is usually followed by several nights of Christmas carol singing and other performances and events. On the twelfth night of Christmas, the tree is taken down for recycling. Westminster City Council threatened to abandon the event to save £5,000 in 1980 but the decision was reversed.

The tree is selected by the Head Forester from Oslo’s municipal forest and shipped, across the North Sea to the Port of Felixstowe, then by road to Trafalgar Square. The first tree was 48 feet (15 m) tall, but more recently has been around 75 feet (23 m). In 1987, protesters chained themselves to the tree. In 1990, a man sawed into the tree with a chainsaw a few hours before a New Year’s Eve party was scheduled to take place. He was arrested and the tree was repaired by tree surgeons who removed gouged sections from the trunk while the tree was suspended from a crane.

Political Demonstrations

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A demonstration in Trafalgar Square

The square has become a social and political focus for visitors and Londoners, developing over its history from “an esplanade peopled with figures of national heroes, into the country’s foremost place politique”, as historian Rodney Mace has written. Since its construction, it has been a venue for political demonstrations. The great Chartist rally in 1848, a campaign for social reform by the working class began in the square. A ban on political rallies remained in effect until the 1880s, when the emerging Labour movement, particularly the Social Democratic Federation, began holding protests. On 8 February 1886 (also known as “Black Monday”), protesters rallied against unemployment leading to a riot in Pall Mall. A larger riot (“Bloody Sunday”) occurred in the square on 13 November 1887.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s first Aldermaston March, protesting against the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), began in the square in 1958. One of the first significant demonstrations of the modern era was held in the square on 19 September 1961 by the Committee of 100, which included the philosopher Bertrand Russell. The protesters rallied for peace and against war and nuclear weapons. In March 1968, a crowd of 10,000 demonstrated against US involvement in the Vietnam War before marching to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

Protests

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Protesting against harassment of photographers under anti-terrorism law, 23 January 2010

Throughout the 1980s, a continuous anti-apartheid protest was held outside South Africa House. In 1990, the Poll Tax Riots began by a demonstration attended by 200,000 people and ultimately caused rioting in the surrounding area. More recently, there have been anti-war demonstrations opposing the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War. A large vigil was held shortly after the terrorist bombings in London on Thursday, 7 July 2005.

In December 2009, participants from the Camp for Climate Action occupied the square for the two weeks during which the UN Conference on Climate Change took place in Copenhagen. It was billed as a UK base for direct action on climate change and saw various actions and protests stem from the occupation.

In March 2011, the square was occupied by a crowd protesting against the UK Budget and proposed budget cuts. During the night the situation turned violent as the escalation by riot police and protesters damaged portions of the square. In November 2015 a vigil against the terrorist attacks in Paris was held. Crowds sang the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, and held banners in support of the city and country.
Every year on the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October), the Sea Cadet Corps holds a parade in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson and the British victory over the combined fleets of Spain and France at Trafalgar. The Royal British Legion holds a Silence in the Square event on Armistice Day, 11 November, in remembrance of those who died in war. The event includes music and poetry readings, culminating in a bugler playing the Last Post and a two-minute silence at 11 am.

Sport

In the 21st century, Trafalgar Square has been the location for several sporting events and victory parades. In June 2002, 12,000 people gathered to watch the England national football team’s World Cup quarter-final against Brazil on giant video screens which had been erected for the occasion. The square was used by the England national rugby union team on 9 December 2003 to celebrate their victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and on 13 September 2005 for the England national cricket team’s victory in the Ashes series.

On 6 July 2005 Trafalgar Square hosted the announcement of London’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. A countdown clock was erected in March 2011, although engineering and weather-related faults caused it to stop a day later. In 2007, it hosted the opening ceremonies of the Tour de France and was part of the course for subsequent races.

Other Uses

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Trafalgar Square temporarily grassed over in May 2007

The Sea Cadets hold an annual celebration of the Battle of Trafalgar victory along the square. The parade runs from Horse Guard’s Parade, along Whitehall to Nelson’s Column.

As an archetypal London location, Trafalgar Square featured in film and television productions during the Swinging London era of the late 1960s, including The Avengers, Casino Royale, Doctor Who, and The Ipcress File. It was used for filming several sketches and a cartoon backdrop in the BBC comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In May 2007, the square was grassed over with 2,000 square metres of turf for two days in a campaign by London authorities to promote “green spaces” in the city.

In July 2011, due to building works in Leicester Square, the world premiere of the final film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, was held in Trafalgar Square, with a 0.75-mile (1.21 km) red carpet linking the squares. Fans camped in Trafalgar Square for up to three days before the premiere, despite torrential rain. It was the first premiere ever to be held there.

Other Trafalgar Squares


A Trafalgar Square in Stepney is recorded in Lockie’s Topography of London, published in 1810. Trafalgar Square in Scarborough, North Yorkshire gives its name to the Trafalgar Square End at the town’s North Marine Road cricket ground.

National Heroes Square in Bridgetown, Barbados, was named Trafalgar Square in 1813, before its better-known British namesake. It was renamed in 1999 to commemorate national heroes of Barbados. There is a life scale replica of the square in Bahria Town, Lahore, Pakistan where it is a tourist attraction and centre for local residents.

Gallery


Piccadilly Circus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PICCADILY

Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London’s West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with Piccadilly. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning “circle”, is a round open space at a street junction.

Piccadilly now links directly to the theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue, as well as the Haymarket, Coventry Street (onwards to Leicester Square) and Glasshouse Street. The Circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas in the West End. Its status as a major traffic junction has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting place and a tourist attraction in its own right. The Circus is particularly known for its video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side, as well as the Shaftesbury memorial fountain and statue, which is popularly, though mistakenly, believed to be of Eros. It is surrounded by several notable buildings, including the London Pavilion and Criterion Theatre. Directly underneath the plaza is Piccadilly Circus tube station, part of the London Underground system.

Contents
1 History
2 Location and sights
2.1 Illuminated signs
2.2 Shaftesbury Memorial and the statue of Anteros
2.3 Criterion Theatre
2.4 London Pavilion
2.5 Major shops
3 Underground station and the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines
4 Demonstrations
5 Popular culture

1 | History


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Piccadilly Circus in 1896, with a view towards Leicester Square via Coventry Street. London Pavilion is on the left, and Criterion Theatre on the right.

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Piccadilly Circus in 1949

Piccadilly Circus in 1896, with a view towards Leicester Square via Coventry Street. London Pavilion is on the left, and Criterion Theatre on the right.

 

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Piccadilly Circus in 1962

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Signs in 1992

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Picadilly Circus in 2016

Piccadilly Circus connects to Piccadilly, a thoroughfare whose name first appeared in 1626 as Piccadilly Hall, named after a house belonging to one Robert Baker, a tailor famous for selling piccadills, or piccadillies, a term used for various kinds of collars.

The street was known as Portugal Street in 1692 in honour of Catherine of Braganza, the queen consort of King Charles II but was known as Piccadilly by 1743. Piccadilly Circus was created in 1819, at the junction with Regent Street, which was then being built under the planning of John Nash on the site of a house and garden belonging to a Lady Hutton. Around 1858 it was briefly known as Regent’s Circus. The circus lost its circular form in 1886 with the construction of Shaftesbury Avenue.

The junction has been a very busy traffic interchange since construction, as it lies at the centre of Theatreland and handles exit traffic from Piccadilly, which Charles Dickens, Jr. described in 1879: “Piccadilly, the great thoroughfare leading from the Haymarket and Regent-street westward to Hyde Park-corner, is the nearest approach to the Parisian boulevard of which London can boast.”

The Piccadilly Circus tube station was opened 10 March 1906, on the Bakerloo line, and on the Piccadilly line in December of that year. In 1928, the station was extensively rebuilt to handle an increase in traffic. The junction’s first electric advertisements appeared in 1910, and, from 1923, electric billboards were set up on the façade of the London Pavilion. Traffic lights were first installed on 3 August 1926.

During World War II many servicemen’s clubs in the West End served American soldiers based in Britain. So many prostitutes roamed the area approaching the soldiers that they received the nickname “Piccadilly Commandos”, and both Scotland Yard and the Foreign Office discussed possible damage to Anglo-American relations.

At the start of the 1960s, it was determined that the Circus needed to be redeveloped to allow for greater traffic flow. In 1962, Lord Holford presented a plan which would have created a “double-decker” Piccadilly Circus; the upper deck would have been an elevated pedestrian concourse linking the buildings around the perimeter of the Circus, with the lower deck being solely for traffic, most of the ground-level pedestrian areas having been removed to allow for greater vehicle flow. This concept was kept alive throughout the rest of the 1960s. A final scheme in 1972 proposed three octagonal towers (the highest 240 feet (73 m) tall) to replace the Trocadero, the Criterion and the “Monico” buildings. The plans were permanently rejected by Sir Keith Joseph and Ernest Marples; the key reason given was that Holford’s scheme only allowed for a 20% increase in traffic, and the Government required 50%.

The Holford plan is referenced in the short-form documentary film “Goodbye, Piccadilly”, produced by the Rank Organisation in 1967 as part of their Look at Life series when it was still seriously expected that Holford’s recommendations would be acted upon. Piccadilly Circus has since escaped major redevelopment, apart from extensive ground-level pedestrianisation around its south side in the 1980s.

The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus was erected in 1893 to commemorate the philanthropic works of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. During the Second World War, the statue atop the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain was removed and was replaced by advertising hoardings. It was returned in 1948. When the Circus underwent reconstruction work in the late 1980s, the entire fountain was moved from the centre of the junction at the beginning of Shaftesbury Avenue to its present position at the southwestern corner.

2 | Location and Sights


Piccadilly Circus is surrounded by several major tourist attractions, including the Shaftesbury Memorial, Criterion Theatre, London Pavilion and several major retail stores. Numerous nightclubs, restaurants and bars are located in the area and neighbouring Soho, including the former Chinawhite club.

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Panorama of Piccadilly Circus in 2015 from the southern side in front of Lillywhites

2.1 | Illuminated Signs

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Illuminated signs of Piccadilly Circus at dawn, 2014

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The Ballet of Change: Piccadilly Circus screening on the Coca-Cola Billboard, 2007

Piccadilly Circus was surrounded by illuminated advertising hoardings on buildings, starting in 1908 with a Perrier sign, but only one building now carries them, the one in the northwestern corner between Shaftesbury Avenue and Glasshouse Street. The site is unnamed (usually referred to as “Monico” after the Café Monico, which used to be on the site); its addresses are 44/48 Regent Street, 1/6 Sherwood Street, 17/22 Denman Street and 1/17 Shaftesbury Avenue, and it has been owned by property investor Land Securities Group since the 1970s.

The earliest signs used incandescent light bulbs; these were replaced with neon lights and with moving signs (there was a large Guinness clock at one time). The first Neon sign was for the British meat extract Bovril. From December 1998, digital projectors were used for the Coke sign, the square’s first digital billboard, while in the 2000s there was a gradual move to LED displays, which completely replaced neon lamps by 2011. The number of signs has reduced over the years as the rental costs have increased.

During 2017, the current six advertising screens will be combined into one large ultra-high definition curved Daktronics display, turning the signs off during renovation for the longest time since the 1940s. The current signs were switched off on 16 January 2017, with the new screen expected to take their place in the autumn.

As of 2016, the site has six LED advertising screens above three large retail units facing Piccadilly Circus on the north side, occupied by Boots, Gap and a mix of smaller retail, restaurant and office premises fronting the other streets. A Burger King located under the Samsung advert, which had been a Wimpy Bar until 1989, closed in early 2008 and was converted into a Barclays Bank.

Coca-Cola has had a sign at Piccadilly Circus since 1954. The current placed sign dates from September 2003, when the previous digital projector board and the site that had been occupied by Nescafé was replaced with a state-of-the-art LED video display that curves round with the building. Before Nescafé, a neon advertisement for Foster’s occupied the spot from 1987 until 1999, and from 1978 to 1987 it was used by Philips Electronics. On 23 November 2007, the first film was broadcast through the board. The screen also displays information about line closures and delays on the London Underground. Paul Atherton’s film The Ballet of Change: Piccadilly Circus was allowed five minutes to show the first non-commercial film depicting the history of Piccadilly Circus and the lights. The former, for several months in 2002, replacing the Nescafé sign, was a sign featuring the quote “Imagine all the people living life in peace” by Beatle John Lennon. This was paid for by his widow Yoko Ono, who spent an estimated £150,000 to display an advert at this location.

Hyundai Motors sign launched on 29 September 2011. It replaced a sign for Sanyo which had occupied the space since around early 1988 (slightly modified in 2004), the last to be run by traditional neon lights rather than Hyundai’s computerised LED screen. Earlier Sanyo signs with older logos had occupied the position since 1978, although these were only half the size of the current space.

McDonald’s added its sign in 1987, replacing one for BASF. The sign was changed from neon to LED in 2001. A bigger, brighter screen was installed by Daktronics in 2008.

Samsung added its sign in November 1994, the space having been previously occupied by Canon (1978–84) and Panasonic (1984–94). The sign was changed from neon to LED in summer 2005. The screen was upgraded and improved in autumn 2011.

One Piccadilly, the highest resolution of all the LED displays was installed by Daktronics, in late 2013, underneath the Samsung and McDonald’s signs. It allows other companies to advertise for both short- and long-term leases, increasing the amount of advertising space but using the same screen for multiple brands. Prior to this an earlier, smaller LED screen called Piccadilly Lite occupied the space from 3 December 2007 to 2013. The space has also been occupied by JVC (1978–84), Carlsberg (1984–2003) and Budweiser (2003–07).

The Curve, a similar space to One Picadilly, was added in 2015, replacing a space previously occupied by Schweppes (1920–61), BP (1961–67), Cinzano (1967–78), Fujifilm (1978–86), Kodak (1986–90) and TDK (1990-2015). Burberry is currently using the space as of December 2015.

LG were added in February 2007 on the roof of Coventry House, which diagonally faces Piccadilly Circus. Their sign is a large LED video advertising display for LGE, the British arm of the South Korean electronics group. The new display also incorporates a scrolling ticker of Sky News headlines. Before LG, Vodafone had a neon sign installed on that spot, which displayed both their logo and personal messages that could be submitted on a special website and displayed at a certain time and date.

On special occasions the lights are switched off, such as the deaths of Winston Churchill in 1965 and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. On 21 June 2007, they were switched off for one hour as part of the Lights Out London campaign.

Other companies and brands that have had signs on the site were Bovril, Volkswagen, Max Factor, Wrigley’s Spearmint, Skol, Air India and Gold Flake (as Will’s Gold Flake Cigarettes).

2.2 | Shaftesbury Memorial and the statue of Anteros

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Tourists sitting on the steps of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain

At the southeastern side of the Circus, moved after World War II from its original position in the centre, stands the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, erected in 1892–1893 to commemorate the philanthropic works of Lord Shaftesbury, a Victorian politician, philanthropist and social reformer. The subject of the Memorial is the Greek god Anteros and was given the name The Angel of Christian Charity but is generally mistaken for his brother Eros.

2.3 | Criterion Theatre

The Criterion Theatre, a Grade II* listed building, stands on the south side of Piccadilly Circus. Apart from the box office area, the entire theatre, with nearly 600 seats, is underground and is reached by descending a tiled stairway. Columns are used to support both the dress circle and the upper circle, restricting the views of many of the seats inside.

The theatre was designed by Thomas Verity and opened as a theatre on 21 March 1874, although original plans were for it to become a concert hall. In 1883, it was forced to close to improve ventilation and to replace gaslights with electric lights and was reopened the following year. The theatre closed in 1989 and was extensively renovated, reopening in October 1992.

2.4 | London Pavilion

On the northeastern side of Piccadilly Circus, on the corner between Shaftesbury Avenue and Coventry Street, is the London Pavilion. The first building bearing the name was built in 1859 and was a music hall. In 1885, Shaftesbury Avenue was built through the former site of the Pavilion, and a new London Pavilion was constructed, which also served as a music hall. In 1924 electric billboards were erected on the side of the building.


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Facade of the London Pavilion in 2002

In 1934, the building underwent significant structural alteration and was converted into a cinema. In 1986, the building was rebuilt, preserving the 1885 facade, and converted into a shopping arcade. In 2000, the building was connected to the neighbouring Trocadero Centre, and signage on the building was altered in 2003 to read “London Trocadero”. The basement of the building connects with Piccadilly Circus tube station.

2.5 | Major Shops

The former Swan & Edgar department store on the west side of the circus between Piccadilly and Regent Street was built in 1928–29 to a design by Reginald Blomfield. Since the closure of the department store in the early 1980s, the building has been successively the flagship London store of music chains Tower Records, Virgin Megastore and Zavvi. The current occupier is clothing brand The Sting.

Lillywhites is a major retailer of sporting goods located on the corner of the circus and Lower Regent Street, next to the Shaftesbury fountain. It moved to its present site in 1925. Lillywhites is popular with tourists, and they regularly offer sale items, including international football jerseys up to 90% off. Nearby Fortnum & Mason is often considered to be part of the Piccadilly Circus shopping area and is known for its expansive food hall.

3 | Underground station and the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines


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Inside Piccadilly Circus tube station

The Piccadilly Circus station on the London Underground is located directly beneath Piccadilly Circus itself, with entrances at every corner. It is one of the few stations which have no associated buildings above ground and is fully underground. The below ground concourse and subway entrances are Grade II listed.

The station is on the Piccadilly line between Green Park and Leicester Square, and the Bakerloo line between Charing Cross and Oxford Circus.

4 | Demonstrations


The Circus’ status as a high-profile public space has made it the destination for numerous political demonstrations, including the February 15, 2003 anti-war protest and the “Carnival Against Capitalism” protest against the 39th G8 summit in 2013.

5 | Popular Culture


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Picadilly Circus, 1969; From the portfolio Untitled (Five Overpainted Picadilly Prints).

The phrase it’s like Piccadilly Circus is commonly used in the UK to refer to a place or situation which is extremely busy with people. It has been said that a person who stays long enough at Piccadilly Circus will eventually bump into everyone they know. Probably because of this connection, during World War II, “Piccadilly Circus” was the code name given to the Allies’ D-Day invasion fleet’s assembly location in the English Channel.

Piccadilly Circus has inspired artists and musicians. Piccadilly Circus (1912) is the name and subject of a painting by British artist Charles Ginner, part of the Tate Britain collection. Sculptor Paul McCarthy also has a 320-page two-volume edition of video stills by the name of Piccadilly Circus. Bob Marley mentioned Piccadilly Circus in his song “Kinky Reggae”, on the Catch a Fire album from 1973.

L. S. Lowry R.A painting ‘Piccadilly Circus, London’ (1960), part of Lord Charles Forte’s collection for almost three decades, sold for £5,641,250 when auctioned for the first time at Christie’s 20th Century British & Irish Art sale on 16 November 2011.

Brighton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Brighton Palace Pier at dusk

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  • Sovereign state: United Kingdom
  • Constituent country: England
  • Region: South East England
  • Ceremonial county: East Sussex
  • Unitary authority: Brighton and Hove
  • Admin HQ: Hove Town Hall
  • Town charter: 1313
  • Incorporated 1854
  • Unitary authority: 1997
  • City status: 2000
  • Government
    • Type: Unitary authority
    • Governing body: Brighton and Hove City Council
    • Leader: Warren Morgan (Lab)
    • Mayor: Mo Marsh (Lab)
    • MPs: Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Lab, Brighton Kemptown), Caroline Lucas (Green, Brighton Pavilion)
  • Area
    • Total 31.97 sq mi (82.79 km2)
  • Population (mid-2016 est.)
    • Total 289,200 (Ranked 42nd)
    • Density 9,050/sq mi (3,493/km2)
  • Demonym(s): Brightonian
  • Time zone: GMT (UTC0)
    • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
  • Postcode area: BN
  • Area code(s): 01273
  • ISO: 3166-2 GB-BNH
  • ONS code: 00ML (ONS), E06000043 (GSS)
  • OS grid reference: TQ315065
  • NUTS: 3 UKJ21
  • Website: brighton-hove gov uk

Brighton /ˈbraɪtən/ (About this sound listen) is a seaside resort on the south coast of England.It is part of the city of Brighton and Hove and the ceremonial county of East Sussex, within the historic county of Sussex.

Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The ancient settlement of “Brighthelmstone” was documented in the Domesday Book (1086). The town’s importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France. The town also developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses.

In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London. Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Grand Hotel, the West Pier, and the Brighton Palace Pier. The town continued to grow into the 20th century, expanding to incorporate more areas into the town’s boundaries before joining the town of Hove to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove in 1997, which was granted city status in 2000.

Brighton’s location has made it a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural, music and arts scene and its large LGBT population, leading to its recognition as the “unofficial gay capital of the UK”. Brighton attracted 7.5 million day visitors in 2015/16 and 4.9 million overnight visitors, and is the most popular seaside destination in the UK for overseas tourists. Brighton has also been called the UK’s “hippest city”, and “the happiest place to live in the UK”.

Contents
1 Etymology
2 History
3 Homelessness in Brighton
4 Geography and topography
4.1 Climate
4.2 Boundaries and areas
5 Governance and politics
6 Economy
6.1 Commerce and industry
6.2 Retail
7 Landmarks
7.1 Churches and places of worship
7.2 Beaches
8 Culture
8.1 Cinema
8.2 Festivals and rallies
8.3 Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
8.4 Museums
8.5 Night-life and popular music
8.6 Notable residents
8.7 Restaurants
8.8 Theatre
9 Education
10 Sport
11 Transport

Etymology


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Queens Road, one of the oldest streets in Brighton

Brighton’s earliest name was Bristelmestune, recorded in the Domesday Book. Although more than 40 variations have been documented, Brighthelmstone (or Brighthelmston) was the standard rendering between the 14th and 18th centuries.

Brighton was originally an informal shortened form, first seen in 1660; it gradually supplanted the longer name, and was in general use from the late 18th century. Brighthelmstone was the town’s official name until 1810, though. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Most scholars believe that it derives from Beorthelm + tūn—the homestead of Beorthelm, a common Old English name associated with villages elsewhere in England. The tūn element is common in Sussex, especially on the coast, although it occurs infrequently in combination with a personal name. An alternative etymology taken from the Old English words for “stony valley” is sometimes given but has less acceptance. Brighthelm gives its name to, among other things, a church and a pub in Brighton and some halls of residence at the University of Sussex. Writing in 1950, historian Antony Dale noted that unnamed antiquaries had suggested an Old English word “brist” or “briz”, meaning “divided”, could have contributed the first part of the historic name Brighthelmstone. The town was originally split in half by the Wellesbourne, a winterbourne which was culverted and buried in the 18th century.

Brighton has several nicknames. Poet Horace Smith called it “The Queen of Watering Places”, which is still widely used, and “Old Ocean’s Bauble”. Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray referred to “Doctor Brighton”, calling the town “one of the best of Physicians”. “London-by-Sea” is well-known, reflecting Brighton’s popularity with Londoners as a day-trip resort, a commuter dormitory and a desirable destination for those wanting to move out of the metropolis. “The Queen of Slaughtering Places”, a pun on Smith’s description, became popular when the Brighton trunk murders came to the public’s attention in the 1930s. The mid 19th-century nickname “School Town” referred to the remarkable number of boarding, charity and church schools in the town at the time.

History


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Brighton, The Front and the Chain Pier Seen in the Distance, Frederick William Woledge, 1840.

The first settlement in the Brighton area was Whitehawk Camp, a Neolithic encampment on Whitehawk Hill which has been dated to between 3500 BC and 2700 BC. It is one of six causewayed enclosures in Sussex. Archaeologists have only partially explored it, but have found numerous burial mounds, tools and bones, suggesting it was a place of some importance. There was also a Bronze Age settlement at Coldean. Brythonic Celts arrived in Britain in the 7th century BC, and an important Brythonic settlement existed at Hollingbury Camp on Hollingbury Hill. This Celtic Iron Age encampment dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC and is circumscribed by substantial earthwork outer walls with a diameter of c. 1,000 feet (300 m). Cissbury Ring, roughly 10 miles (16 km) from Hollingbury, is suggested to have been the tribal “capital”.

Later, there was a Roman villa at Preston Village, a Roman road from London ran nearby, and much physical evidence of Roman occupation has been discovered locally. From the 1st century AD, the Romans built a number of villas in Brighton and Romano-British Brythonic Celts formed farming settlements in the area. After the Romans left in the early 4th century AD, the Brighton area returned to the control of the native Celts. Anglo-Saxons then invaded in the late 5th century AD, and the region became part of the Kingdom of Sussex, founded in 477 AD by king Ælle.

Anthony Seldon identified five phases of development in pre-20th century Brighton. The village of Bristelmestune was founded by these Anglo-Saxon invaders, probably in the early Saxon period. They were attracted by the easy access for boats, sheltered areas of raised land for building, and better conditions compared to the damp, cold and misty Weald to the north. By the time of the Domesday survey in 1086 it was a fishing and agricultural settlement, a rent of 4,000 herring was established, and its population was about 400. Its importance grew from the Norman era onwards. By the 14th century there was a parish church, a market and rudimentary law enforcement (the first town constable was elected in 1285). Sacked and burnt by French invaders in the early 16th century—the earliest depiction of Brighton, a painting of c. 1520, shows Admiral Pregent de Bidoux’s attack of June 1514—the town recovered strongly based on a thriving mackerel-fishing industry. The grid of streets in the Old Town (the present Lanes area) were well developed and the town grew quickly: the population rose from c. 1,500 in 1600 to c. 4,000 in the 1640s. By that time Brighton was Sussex’s most populous and important town. Having lost the Battle of Worcester, King Charles II, after hiding for 42 days in various places, fled on the evening of the 15th October 1651 in the “Surprise” from Brighthelmstone to his exile in Fécamp, France.

Over the next few decades, though, events severely affected its local and national standing, such that by 1730 “it was a forlorn town decidedly down on its luck”. More foreign attacks, storms (especially the devastating Great Storm of 1703), a declining fishing industry, and the emergence of nearby Shoreham as a significant port caused its economy to suffer. By 1708 other parishes in Sussex were charged rates to alleviate poverty in Brighton, and Daniel Defoe wrote that the expected £8,000 cost of providing sea defences was “more than the whole town was worth”. The population declined to 2,000 in the early 18th century.

From the 1730s, Brighton entered its second phase of development—one which brought a rapid improvement in its fortunes. The contemporary fad for drinking and bathing in seawater as a purported cure for illnesses was enthusiastically encouraged by Dr Richard Russell from nearby Lewes. He sent many patients to “take the cure” in the sea at Brighton, published a popular treatise[note 1] on the subject, and moved to the town soon afterwards (the Royal Albion, one of Brighton’s early hotels, occupies the site of his house). Others were already visiting the town for recreational purposes before Russell became famous, and his actions coincided with other developments which made Brighton more attractive to visitors. From the 1760s it was a boarding point for boats travelling to France; road transport to London was improved when the main road via Crawley was turnpiked in 1770; and spas and indoor baths were opened by other entrepreneurial physicians such as Sake Dean Mahomed and Anthony Relhan (who also wrote the town’s first guidebook).

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Photochrom of Brighton aquarium, 1890–1900

From 1780, development of the Georgian terraces had started, and the fishing village developed as the fashionable resort of Brighton. Growth of the town was further encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent (later King George IV) after his first visit in 1783. He spent much of his leisure time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion during the early part of his Regency. In this period the modern form of the name Brighton came into common use.

A permanent military presence was established in the city with the completion of Preston Barracks in 1793.

The arrival of the London and Brighton Railway in 1841 brought Brighton within the reach of day-trippers from London. The population grew from around 7,000 in 1801 to more than 120,000 by 1901. Many of the major attractions were built during the Victorian era, such as the Grand Hotel (1864), the West Pier (1866), and the Palace Pier (1899). Prior to either of these structures, the famous Chain Pier was built, to the designs of Captain Samuel Brown. It lasted from 1823 to 1896, and is featured in paintings by both Turner and Constable.

Because of boundary changes, the land area of Brighton expanded from 1,640 acres (7 km2) in 1854 to 14,347 acres (58 km2) in 1952. New housing estates were established in the acquired areas, including Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Coldean and Whitehawk. The major expansion of 1928 also incorporated the villages of Patcham, Ovingdean and Rottingdean, and much council housing was built in parts of Woodingdean after the Second World War. In 1997, Brighton and Hove were joined to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove, which was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the millennium celebrations in 2000.

Homelessness in Brighton


In 2016, Government figures analysed by the charity Shelter revealed that Brighton and Hove had the worst rate for homelessness outside London and is worse than some boroughs in the capital. Based on the Freedom of Information data there are 4,095 people sleeping rough or in emergency or temporary accommodation in the city, suggesting that one in 69 people in Brighton and Hove was homeless. In a charity report issued in November 2016, three areas in Brighton & Hove, East Brighton, Queen’s Park, and Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ranked in the top ten per cent nationally for deprivation.

Although deprivation in Brighton is distributed across the whole of the city it is more concentrated in some areas than others. The highest concentration of deprivation is in the Whitehawk, Moulsecoomb, and Hollingbury areas of the city but is also found around the St. James’s Street and Eastern Road areas. A 2015 government statistic showed that the area around Brighton’s Palace Pier roundabout and to the east towards St James’s Street in Kemptown is the seventh worst ‘living environment’ in England. On 19 January 2017, Brighton council announced they were looking at certain initiatives to try and alleviate some of the increasing homelessness seen on Brighton’s streets and were hoping to open the first in-house temporary housing for homeless people in the city.

Geography and Topography


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To the east of Brighton, chalk cliffs protected by a sea-wall rise from the beach.

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The underground Wellesbourne can rise to the surface during heavy rain, as in November 2000 when it flooded the London Road in Preston village.

Brighton lies between the South Downs and the English Channel to the north and south, respectively. The Sussex coast forms a wide, shallow bay between the headlands of Selsey Bill and Beachy Head; Brighton developed near the centre of this bay around a seasonal river, the Wellesbourne (or Whalesbone), which flowed from the South Downs above Patcham. This emptied into the English Channel at the beach near the East Cliff, forming “the natural drainage point for Brighton”.

Behind the estuary was a stagnant pond called the Pool or Poole, so named since the medieval era.[note 2] This was built over with houses and shops from 1793, when the Wellesbourne was culverted to prevent flooding, and only the name of the road (Pool Valley, originally Pool Lane) marks its site. One original house survives from the time of the pool’s enclosure. Behind Pool Valley is Old Steine (historically The Steyne), originally a flat and marshy area where fishermen dried their nets. The Wellesbourne occasionally reappears during times of prolonged heavy rain; author Mark Antony Lower referred to an early 19th-century drawing of the Royal Pavilion showing “quite a pool of water across the Steyne”.

Despite 16th-century writer Andrew Boorde’s claim that “Bryght-Hempston [is] among the noble ports and havens of the realm”, Brighton never developed as a significant port: rather, it was considered as part of Shoreham. Nevertheless, the descriptions “Port of Brighthelmston” or “Port of Brighton” were sometimes used between the 14th and 19th centuries, as for example in 1766 when its notional limits were defined for customs purposes.

The East Cliff runs for several miles from Pool Valley towards Rottingdean and Saltdean, reaching 24 metres (80 ft) above sea level. The soil beneath it, a mixture of alluvium and clay with some flint and chalk rubble, has experienced erosion for many years. The cliff itself, like the rest of Brighton’s soil, is chalk. Below this are thin layers of Upper and Lower Greensand separated by a thicker band of Gault clay. The land slopes upwards gradually from south to north towards the top of the Downs.

Main transport links developed along the floor of the Wellesbourne valley, from which the land climbs steeply—particularly on the east side. The earliest settlement was by the beach at the bottom of the valley, which was partly protected from erosion by an underwater shale-bar. Changes in sea level affected the foreshore several times: 40 acres (16 ha) disappeared in the first half of the 14th century, and the Great Storm of 1703 caused widespread destruction. The first sea defences were erected in 1723, and a century later a long sea-wall was built.

Climate

Brighton has a temperate climate: its Köppen climate classification is Cfb. It is characterised by mild, calm weather with high levels of sunshine, sea breezes and a “healthy, bracing air” attributed to the low level of tree cover. Average rainfall levels increase as the land rises: the 1958–1990 mean was 740 millimetres (29 in) on the seafront and about 1,000 millimetres (39 in) at the top of the South Downs above Brighton. Storms caused serious damage in 1703, 1806, 1824, 1836, 1848, 1850, 1896, 1910 and 1987. Snow is rare, but particularly severe falls were recorded in 1881 and 1967.

Climate data for Brighton

Climate data for Brighton

Average Sea Temperature

Average sea temperature

Boundaries and Areas

Boundaries and areas

At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, Brighton was in the Rape of Lewes and the Hundred of Welesmere. The new Hundred of Whalesbone, which covered the parishes of Brighton, West Blatchington, Preston and Hove, was formed in 1296. Parishes moved in and out several times, and by 1801 only Brighton and West Blatchington were included in the Hundred.

Brighton’s ecclesiastical and civil parish boundaries were coterminous until 1873. Since then, the latter have changed several times as the urban area has expanded. In its original form, Brighton covered about 1,640 acres (660 ha) between the English Channel, Hove, Preston, Ovingdean and Rottingdean. The civil parish was first extended from 31 October 1873, when 905 acres (366 ha) was annexed from Preston. Its ecclesiastical parish was not affected.

On 1 October 1923, 94 acres (38 ha) were added to Brighton from Patcham parish: Brighton Corporation was developing the Moulsecoomb council estate there at the time. On 1 April 1928, Brighton became a county borough and grew by nearly five times by adding Ovingdean and Rottingdean parishes in their entirety and parts of Falmer, Patcham and West Blatchington. From 1 April 1952, more of Falmer and part of the adjacent Stanmer parish were added; 20 years later, land and marine territory associated with the new Brighton Marina development also became part of Brighton. Except for a small addition of rural land in 1993 (from Pyecombe parish), Brighton Borough’s boundaries remained the same until it was joined to Hove Borough in 1997 to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove.

The old boundary between Brighton and Hove is most clearly seen on the seafront, where the King Edward Peace Statue (1912) straddles the border, and in a twitten called Boundary Passage which runs northwards from Western Road to Montpelier Road. There is a Grade II-listed parish boundary marker stone in this passageway. Between Western Road and the seafront, the boundary runs up Little Western Street (pavement on eastern side, in Brighton), but it is not visible. Northwards from Western Road, it runs to the west of Norfolk Road, Norfolk Terrace, Windlesham Road and Windlesham Gardens in the Montpelier area, then along the south side of Davigdor Road to Seven Dials. From there it runs along the west side of Dyke Road as far as Withdean Road in Withdean, at which point it crosses Dyke Road so that the section north of that is part of Hove parish. The boundary continues to follow Dyke Road towards Devil’s Dyke on the South Downs.

Panorama of Brighton seen from Tenantry Down to the east

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December 2013 panorama of Brighton seen from Tenantry Down (to the east).

Governance and Politics


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Brighton Town Hall dates from 1830.

Brighton is covered by two constituencies in the Parliament of the United Kingdom: Brighton Kemptown and Brighton Pavilion. Both are marginal constituencies which were held by Labour from 1997 to 2010. At the 2017 general election, Brighton Kemptown elected the Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, while Brighton Pavilion re-elected Caroline Lucas, the first Green Party MP elected to Westminster. In European elections, Brighton is part of the European Parliament constituency of South-East England.

As of 2017, there are 21 wards in the city of Brighton and Hove, of which 12 are in Brighton. Regency, St Peter’s & North Laine, Preston Park, Withdean, Patcham, Hollingdean & Stanmer and Hanover & Elm Grove are part of the Brighton Pavilion constituency; Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, Queen’s Park, East Brighton, Woodingdean and Rottingdean Coastal are covered by the Brighton Kemptown constituency.

The newly created Borough of Brighton consisted of six wards in 1854: St Nicholas, St Peter, Pier, Park, Pavilion and West. When the territory was extended to include part of Preston parish in 1873, the new area became a seventh ward named Preston. The seven were split into 14 in 1894: Hanover, Kemp Town (renamed King’s Cliff in 1908), Lewes Road, Montpelier, Pavilion, Pier, Preston, Preston Park, Queen’s Park, Regency, St John, St Nicholas, St Peter, and West. Preston ward was extended in 1923 to incorporate the area taken into the borough from Patcham parish in 1923 for the construction of the Moulsecoomb estate, and in 1928 the ward was divided into four: Hollingbury, Moulsecoomb, Preston and Preston Park. Elm Grove and Patcham wards were created at the same time, bringing the total to 19. There were further changes in 1952, 1955 and 1983, at which time there were 16 wards. This situation continued until 1 April 1997, when Hove and its wards became part of the new unitary authority of Brighton and Hove.

Brighton Town Hall occupies a large site in The Lanes. Medieval Brighthelmston had a town hall, although it was called the Townhouse and functioned more like a market hall. A later building (1727) known as the Town Hall was principally used as a workhouse. Work on the first purpose-built town hall began in 1830; Thomas Read Kemp laid the first stone, and Thomas Cooper designed it on behalf of the Brighton Town Commissioners (of which he was a member). Brighton Corporation spent £40,000 to extend it in 1897–99 to the Classical design of Brighton Borough Surveyor Francis May. Despite this, the building was too small for municipal requirements by the mid-20th century, and extra council buildings were built in various locations throughout Brighton Borough Council’s existence: the most recent, Bartholomew House and Priory House next to the town hall, were finished in 1987. The town hall ceased to be responsible solely for Brighton’s affairs when Brighton and Hove were united in 1997, but it is still used by Brighton & Hove City Council—particularly for weddings and civil ceremonies.

The presence of a British subsidiary of the United States arms company EDO Corporation on the Home Farm Industrial Estate in Moulsecoomb has been the cause of protests since 2004. The premises were significantly damaged in January 2009 when protesters broke in.

Economy


In 1985, the Borough Council described three “myths” about Brighton’s economy. Common beliefs were that most of the working population commuted to London every day; that tourism provided most of Brighton’s jobs and income; or that the borough’s residents were “composed entirely of wealthy theatricals and retired businesspeople” rather than workers. Brighton has been an important centre for commerce and employment since the 18th century. It is home to several major companies, some of which employ thousands of people locally; as a retail centre it is of regional importance; creative, digital and new media businesses are increasingly significant; and, although Brighton was never a major industrial centre, its railway works contributed to Britain’s rail industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the manufacture of steam locomotives.

Since the amalgamation of Brighton and Hove, economic and retail data has been produced at a citywide level only. Examples of statistics include: Brighton and Hove’s tourism industry contributes £380m to the economy and employs 20,000 people directly or indirectly; the city has 9,600 registered companies; and a 2001 report identified it as one of five “supercities for the future”. In the past couple of years tourists to Brighton and Hove have fallen in numbers. Over 2016, day visitors to Brighton and Hove dropped by an average of 2,400 per day. In August 2017, new figures for the year showed Brighton’s tourism had fallen by a further 1% on the previous year.

Commerce and Industry

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Events at the Brighton Centre are important to Brighton’s economy.

Brighton’s largest private sector employer is American Express, whose European headquarters are at John Street. As of 2012, about 3,000 people work there. Planning permission to demolish the old Amex offices and build a replacement was granted in 2009, and work started in March 2010. Other major employers include Lloyds Bank, Asda (which has hypermarkets at Hollingbury and Brighton Marina), Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company and call-centre operator Inkfish. In 2012, it was reported that about 1,500 of Gatwick Airport’s 21,000 workers lived in the city of Brighton and Hove.

Brighton is a popular destination for conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs, and has had a purpose-built conference centre—the Brighton Centre—since 1977. Direct income from the Brighton Centre’s 160 events per year is £8 million,[note 4] and a further £50 million is generated indirectly by visitors spending money during their stay. Events range from political party conferences to concerts.

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The Hollingbury Industrial Estate has large industrial, commercial and retail buildings such as Sussex House (left) and Exion 27 (right).

The Hollingbury Industrial Estate is one of the largest such facilities in Brighton; in its early days about 6,000 people were employed, principally in industrial jobs, but in the late 20th and early 21st centuries its focus has switched to commercial and retail development, limiting Brighton’s potential for industrial growth. Brighton Corporation laid out the estate on 18 acres (7.3 ha) of land around Crowhurst Road in 1950. By 1956, large-scale employment was provided at a bakery, a typewriter factory and a machine tools manufacturer among others. Most of the large factories closed during the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s, employment fell to 1,000, and structural changes started in the mid-1980s with a move towards small-scale industrial units (the Enterprise Estate was finished in October 1985) and then retail warehouses. Asda’s superstore opened in November 1987, MFI followed two years later, and other retail units were built in the 1990s. Two large headquarters buildings were vacated in quick succession when British Bookshops left in March 2011 and The Argus newspaper moved out of its headquarters in 2012—although the Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company signed a contract to move its 1,250 employees into the latter building.

Brighton has a high density of businesses involved in the media sector, particularly digital or “new media”, and since the 1990s has been referred to as “Silicon Beach”. By 2007, over 250 new media business had been founded in Brighton. Brandwatch is a social media monitoring company based in offices near Brighton station. Computer game design company Black Rock Studio was founded in 1998 and was taken over by Disney Interactive Studios, who closed it down in 2011. The Gamer Network, whose portfolio of websites relating to computer gaming (including Eurogamer) and creative industries was founded in 1999, is based in Brighton.

By the early 21st century, the market for office accommodation in the city was characterised by fluctuating demand and a lack of supply of high-quality buildings. As an example, the Trafalgar Place development (c. 1990), “now considered a prime office location”, stood partly empty for a decade. Exion 27 (built in 2001), a high-tech, energy-efficient office development at Hollingbury, remained empty for several years and is still not in commercial use: it houses some administrative departments of the University of Brighton. It was Brighton’s first ultramodern commercial property and was intended for mixed commercial and industrial use, but its completion coincided with a slump in demand for high-tech premises.

Retail

The Lanes form a retail, leisure and residential area near the seafront, characterised by narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing village. The Lanes contain predominantly clothing stores, jewellers, antique shops, restaurants and pubs. The North Laine area is a retail, leisure and residential area immediately north of the Lanes. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon “Laine” meaning “fields”, although the misnomer “North Lanes” is often used to describe the area. The North Laine contains a mix of businesses dominated by cafés, independent and avant-garde shops, bars and theatres.

Churchill Square is a shopping centre with a floor space of 470,000 sq ft (44,000 m2) and over 80 shops, several restaurants and 1,600 car-parking spaces. It was built in the 1960s as an open-air, multi-level pedestrianised shopping centre, but was rebuilt and enlarged in 1998 and is no longer open-air. Further retail areas include Western Road and London Road, the latter of which is currently undergoing extensive regeneration in the form of new housing and commercial properties.

Landmarks


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Royal Pavilion

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Brighton Pier

The Royal Pavilion is a former royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early 19th century, under the direction of the architect John Nash, and is notable for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and Oriental interior. Other Indo-Saracenic buildings in Brighton include the Sassoon Mausoleum, now, with the bodies reburied elsewhere, in use as a chic supper club.

Brighton Marine Palace and Pier (long known as the Palace Pier) opened in 1899. It features a funfair, restaurants and arcade halls. The West Pier was built in 1866 and is one of only two Grade I listed piers in the United Kingdom. It has been closed since 1975. For some time it was under consideration for restoration, but two fires in 2003, and other setbacks, led to these plans being abandoned. The Brighton i360 observation tower opened on 4 August 2016. At 162 metres (531.49 feet) high, and with an observation pod rising to 138 metres (452.75 feet), the i360 is Britain’s highest observation tower outside London – taller even than the London Eye.

Brighton clocktower, built in 1888 for Queen Victoria’s jubilee, stands at the intersection of Brighton’s busiest thoroughfares.

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Clock Tower, Brighton

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i360

Volk’s Electric Railway runs along the inland edge of the beach from Brighton Pier to Black Rock and Brighton Marina. It was created in 1883 and is the world’s oldest operating electric railway.

The Grand Hotel was built in 1864. The Brighton hotel bombing occurred there. Its nighttime blue lighting is particularly prominent along the foreshore.

Churches and Places of Worship

The 11th century (1086) St Nicholas Church is the oldest building in Brighton, commonly known as “The Mother Church”. Other notable churches include the very tall brick-built St Bartholomew’s (1874) designed by the architect Edmund Scott, St Peter’s (1828), and St. Martin’s, noted for its decorated interior. Brighton’s Quakers run the Friends’ Meeting House in the Lanes. There is an active Unitarian community based in a Grade 2 listed building in New Road, and a Spiritualist church in Norfolk Square. There are also a number of New Age outlets and groups.

Brighton-Hove has five synagogues: New Church Road Synagogue, Hove; Holland Road Synagogue, Hove; Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue, Hove; Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, Hove; Middle Street Synagogue; Brighton. The Middle Street Synagogue is a Grade II-listed building built in 1874–75. It is being gradually restored by English Heritage. There are also several mosques and Buddhist centres.

Brighton has become known as one of the least religious places in the UK, based upon analysis of the 2011 census which revealed that 42 per cent of the population profess no religion, far higher than the national average of 25%. As part of the Jedi census phenomenon, 2.6 per cent claimed their religion was Jedi Knight, the largest percentage in the country.

Beaches

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Cliff Beach: Britain’s first naturist beach

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Boats on Brighton Beach

Brighton has a 5.4-mile (8.7 km) expanse of shingle beach, part of the unbroken 8-mile (13 km) section within the city limits.[note 5] Neighbouring Hove is known for its hundreds of painted timber beach huts, but brick-walled chalets are also available on Brighton seafront, especially towards Rottingdean and Saltdean. Especially east of the Palace Pier, a flat sandy foreshore is exposed at low tide. The Palace Pier section of the beach has been awarded blue flag status. Part of the beach adjoining Madeira Drive, to the east of the city centre, has been redeveloped into a sports complex and opened to the public in March 2007, with courts for pursuits such as beach volleyball and ultimate Frisbee among others.

The city council owns all the beaches, which are divided into named sections by groynes—the first of which were completed in 1724. Eastwards from the Hove boundary, the names are Boundary, Norfolk, Bedford, Metropole, Grand (referring to the four hotels with those names), Centre, King’s, Old Ship, Volk’s, Albion, Palace Pier, Aquarium, Athina (where the MS Athina B ran aground), Paston, Banjo, Duke’s, Cliff, Crescent and Black Rock. Cliff Beach is a nudist beach. Beyond Black Rock, the cliffs (part of the Brighton to Newhaven Cliffs Site of Special Scientific Interest) rise to more than 100 feet (30 m) and there are three small beaches at Ovingdean Gap, Rottingdean Gap and Saltdean Gap. All are connected by the Undercliff Walk, which has been affected by several cliff falls since 2000.

Since the demolition in 1978 of the Black Rock open-air lido at the eastern end of Brighton’s seafront, the area has been developed and now features one of Europe’s largest marinas. However, the site of the pool itself remains empty except for a skate park and graffiti wall. Since 2003 a series of developments have been proposed but have come to nothing, including housing, a five-star hotel with a winter garden, and an 11,000-seat sports arena.

The seafront is also home to many restaurants, sports facilities, amusement arcades, nightclubs and bars.

Culture


Cinema

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Odeon Kingswest on Brighton seafront opened in 1973

Brighton featured in a number of popular movies including Quadrophenia (1979), The End of the Affair (1999), Wimbledon (2004), MirrorMask (2005), Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008), The Young Victoria (2009), Brighton Rock (2010 and 1947) and The Boat that Rocked (2009).

The Duke of York’s Picturehouse, dating from 1910, was opened by Mrs Violet Melnotte-Wyatt. It is the country’s oldest purpose-built cinema and was Brightons first Electric Bioscope, which still operates as an arthouse cinema. The Duke of York’s Picturehouse expanded in 2012, adding two additional screens in a different location. The company is now occupying the upstairs of Komedia, situated on Gardner Street, central Brighton. There are two multiplex cinemas, the Odeon on North Street and Cineworld in the Marina.

Festivals and Rallies

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“The Big Beach Boutique II”: over 250,000 watched Fatboy Slim (July 2002)

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Seafront display of Minis after a London to Brighton drive

Each May the city hosts the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe, the second largest arts festival in the UK (after Edinburgh). This includes processions such as the Children’s Parade, outdoor spectaculars often involving pyrotechnics, and theatre, music and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some brought into this use exclusively for the festival. The earliest feature of the festival, the Artists’ Open Houses, are homes of artists and craftspeople opened to the public as galleries, and usually selling the work of the occupants. Since 2002, these have been organised independently of the official Festival and Fringe.

Brighton Fringe runs alongside Brighton Festival, and has grown to be one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. Together with the street performers from Brighton Festival’s “Streets of Brighton” events, and the Royal Mile-esque outdoor performances that make up “Fringe City”, outdoor spectacles and events more than double during May.

Other festivals include The Great Escape, featuring three nights of live music in venues across the city; the Soundwaves Festival in June, which shows classical music composed in the 21st Century, and involves both amateur and professional performers; Paddle Round the Pier; Brighton Live which each September stages a week of free gigs in pubs to show local bands; Burning the Clocks, a winter solstice celebration; and Brighton Pride (see lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, below). For a number of years, Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World extravaganza was held in the city.

The Kemptown area has its own small annual street festival, the Kemptown Carnival, and the Hanover area similarly has a “Hanover Day”. Local resident Fatboy Slim puts on a “Big Beach Boutique” show most years. An inaugural White Nights (Nuit Blanche) all-night arts festival took place in October 2008 and continued for 4 years until it was postponed in 2012 due to a lack of European funding. 2009 saw the first Brighton Zine Fest celebrating zine and DIY culture within the city.

Brighton is the terminus of a number of London-to-Brighton rides, and runs, such as the veteran car run and bike ride. Transport rallies are also hosted on the seafront. Groups of mods and Rockers still bring their scooters and motorbikes to the town, but their gatherings are now much more sedate than the violent 1960s confrontations depicted in Quadrophenia.

Food and drink related festivals include the traditional Blessing of the Fisheries, where barbecued mackerel are eaten on the beach and the more recent Fiery Foods Chilli Festival. There is also a twice-yearly general food festival. The main Sussex beer festival is held in nearby Hove, and there is a smaller beer festival in the Hanover area.

Brighton is the home of the UK’s first Walk of Fame which celebrates the many rich and famous people associated with the city.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community

Even amid all of this Gaiety the Southdown livery looks colourful and cheerful

Brighton Pride 2014 bus

Brighton records LGBT history in the city since the 19th century. Many LGBT pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés and shops are located around Brighton and in particular around St James’s Street in Kemptown. Several LGBT charities, publishers, social and support groups are also based in the city. Brighton Pride is usually celebrated at the start of August. Brighton also hosts an annual trans pride event, which is the first of its kind in the UK. In a 2014 estimate, 11–15% of the city’s population aged 16 or over is thought to be lesbian, gay or bisexual. The city also had the highest percentage of same-sex households in the UK in 2004 and the largest number of civil partnership registrations outside London in 2013.

Museums

Brighton museums include Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Preston Manor, Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton Toy and Model Museum, and Brighton Fishing Museum, the long established social epicentre of the seafront, which includes artefacts from the West Pier. The Royal Pavilion is also open to the public, serving as a museum to the British Regency.

Night-life and Popular Music

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Theatre Royal, city centre

Brighton has many night-life hotspots and is associated with popular musicians including Fatboy Slim, Kirk Brandon, Tim Booth, Nick Cave, David Van Day from Dollar, and Robert Smith. Live music venues include the Concorde2, Brighton Centre and the Brighton Dome, where ABBA received a substantial boost to their career when they won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974. Many events and performance companies operate in the city. Brighton’s has produced several successful bands & music artists including Royal Blood, the Kooks, Fatboy Slim, the Freemasons, the Levellers and the Maccabees, British Sea Power, the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and the Rizzle Kicks. Brighton is also home to several independent record labels.

Notable residents

Restaurants

Brighton has about 400 restaurants.

Theatre

Theatres include the Brighton Dome and associated Pavilion Theatre, the expanded Komedia (primarily a comedy and music venue but also a theatre), the Old Market which was renovated and re-opened in 2010 and the Theatre Royal which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007. There are also smaller theatres such as the Marlborough Theatre, the New Venture, and the Brighton Little Theatre. The city has the new purpose built Brighton Open Air Theatre, or B•O•A•T, which is due to open for the Brighton Festival in May 2015. It is unique in that its programme will be chosen by lottery to ensure that it remains accessible and open to all comers.

Education


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University of Sussex campus from above

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Roedean School.

Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for 80 schools, of which 54 are in Brighton.
The University of Sussex established in 1961 is a campus university between Stanmer Park and Falmer, four miles (6 km) from the city centre. Served by frequent trains (to Falmer railway station) and 24-hour buses, it has a student population of 12,500 of which 70% are undergraduates. The university is currently ranked 18th in the UK and 110th in the world by the World University Rankings.

The University of Brighton, the former Brighton Polytechnic, has a student population of 20,017 of which 80% are undergraduates. The university is on several sites with additional buildings in Falmer, Moulsecoomb, Eastbourne and Hastings.

In 2003, the universities of Sussex and Brighton formed a medical school, known as Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The school was one of four new medical schools to be created as part of a government programme to increase the number of qualified NHS doctors. The school is based in Falmer and works closely with the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

A range of non-university courses for students over 16, mainly in vocational education subjects, is provided at the further education college, City College Brighton and Hove. More academic subjects can be studied by 16–18-year-olds at Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) in the Seven Dials area. Varndean College in North Brighton occupies a commanding position. The 1920s building is celebrated for its façade and internal quads. The college offers academic A levels, The International Baccalaureate and vocational courses.

There are state schools and some faith schools. Notable state schools include Longhill High School, Varndean School, Patcham High School, Dorothy Stringer High School, Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

There are a number of independent schools, including Brighton College, Roedean School, Steiner School, BHHS and a Montessori School. As with the state schools, some independents are faith-based; Torah Academy, the last Jewish primary school, became a Pre-K/Nursery School at the end of the 2007. The Brighton Institute of Modern Music, a fully accredited music college, opened in 2001 and has since expanded to five locations throughout the UK.

In spring and summer, thousands of students from all over Europe gather to attend language courses at the many language schools.

Sport


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Falmer Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

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Brighton Marina

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club is the city’s professional football team. After playing at the Goldstone Ground for 95 years, the club spent two years ground-sharing at Gillingham before returning to the town as tenants of the Withdean Athletics Stadium. However, in 2011 the club permanently moved to Falmer Stadium in Falmer at the start of the 2011–12 season, with the first match being played there in July 2011. The club’s notable achievements including winning promotion to the Football League First Division for the first time in 1979, staying there for four seasons, during the last of which they reached the FA Cup Final and took Manchester United to a replay before losing 4-0. The 2017-18 Football season will see Brighton’s debut in the Premier League, after a win against Wigan Athletic guaranteed automatic promotion to the top flight. Notable former managers of the club include Brian Clough, Peter Taylor (born 1928), Peter Taylor (born 1953), Jimmy Melia, Liam Brady, Jimmy Case, Steve Gritt, Brian Horton, Steve Coppell and Mark McGhee. Notable former players include Gareth Barry, Dave Beasant, Justin Fashanu, Dennis Mortimer, Gordon Smith, Frank Stapleton, Howard Wilkinson and Bobby Zamora.

Whitehawk Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in the Whitehawk suburb of Brighton. Currently, they play in the Conference South having won promotion three times in the space four years between 2009–13. Whitehawk play their games at The Enclosed Ground, beautifully set into the South Downs, close to Brighton Marina. Notable former/current players include Sergio Torres, Jake Robinson, Matthew Lawrence and Darren Freeman.

Brighton and Hove is home to the Sussex County Cricket Club at Eaton Road in Hove.
Brighton Football Club (RFU) is one of the oldest Rugby Clubs in England.

Brighton & Hove Hockey Club is a large hockey club, with a homeground based in Hove. The men’s 1XI gained promotion to the England Hockey League system, Conference East, in 2013.

Throughout the year many events take place on Madeira Drive (a piece of roadway on Brighton’s seafront), which was constructed to host what is commonly held to be the world’s oldest motor race, the Brighton Speed Trials, which has been running since 1905. The event is organised by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club and normally takes place on the second Saturday in September each year.

There is also an from time to time a beach soccer competition in a temporary stadium on imported sand on the beach. The inaugural contest in June 2002 featured football stars such as Eric Cantona and Matt Le Tissier.

Brighton has a horse-racing course, Brighton Racecourse, with the unusual feature that when the full length of the course is to be used, some of the grass turf of the track has to be laid over the tar at the top of Wilson Avenue, a public road, which therefore has to be closed for the races.

There is a greyhound racing circuit – the Brighton & Hove Greyhound Stadium – in Hove, run by Coral, at which Motorcycle speedway racing was staged in 1928.

Brighton Sailing Club has been operating since the 1870s.

The Brighton and Hove Pétanque Club runs an annual triples, doubles and singles competition, informal KOs, winter and summer league, plus Open competitions with other clubs. The club is affiliated to Sussex Pétanque, the local region of the English Pétanque Association, so they can also play at a Regional and National level. The Peace Statue terrain is the official pétanque terrain situated on the seafront near the West Pier.

Brighton has two competitive swimming clubs. Brighton SC formed in 1860 claims to be the oldest swimming club in England. Brighton Dolphin SC was formed in 1891 as Brighton Ladies Swimming.

Brighton was chosen as one of the one of the 13 Rugby World Cup 2015 host cities, with two games being played at the 30,750 capacity American Express Community Stadium (Although it was named the “Brighton Community Stadium” throughout the tournament for sponsorship reasons.) One of the two games played was one of the biggest shocks in the history of Rugby Union, with Japan defeating South Africa 34 points to 32, with a try in the dying minutes of the game. The other game was between Samoa and the United States.

Transport


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The Brighton Main Line railway (left) and A23 road link Brighton to London.

Brighton has several railway stations, many bus routes, coach services and taxis. A Rapid Transport System has been under consideration for some years. Trolleybuses, trams, ferries and hydrofoil services have operated in the past.

Brighton is connected to the national road network by the A23 (London Road) northwards, and by two east–west routes: the A259 along the coast and the A27 trunk route inland. The A23 joins the M23 motorway at Pease Pottage near Gatwick Airport. The A27 originally ran through the urban area along Old Shoreham Road and Lewes Road, but it now follows the route of the Brighton Bypass (opened in 1990) and the old alignment has become the A270.

A bypass was first proposed in 1932, six routes were submitted for approval in 1973, and the Department of the Environment published its recommended route in 1980. Public enquiries took place in 1983 and 1987, construction started in 1989 and the first section—between London Road at Patcham and the road to Devil’s Dyke—opened in summer 1991. By 1985 there were about 5,000 parking spaces in central Brighton. The largest car parks are at London Road, King Street, and the Churchill Square/Regency Road/Russell Road complex. In 1969, a 520-space multi-storey car park was built beneath the central gardens of Regency Square.

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Brighton Station Concourse

Frequent trains operate from Brighton railway station. Many Brighton residents commute to work in London and destinations include London Victoria, London Bridge and St Pancras International. Most trains serve Gatwick Airport, and those operated by Thameslink continue to St Albans, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway and Bedford. The fastest service from London Victoria takes 51 minutes. The West Coastway Line serves stations to Hove, Worthing, Portsmouth and Southampton; and the East Coastway Line runs via Lewes to Newhaven, Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford, Kent, crossing the landmark London Road viaduct en route and providing “a dramatic high-level view” of Brighton. A wider range of long-distance destinations was served until 2007–08 when rationalisation caused the ending of InterCity services via Kensington (Olympia) and Reading to Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. Twice-daily long-distance services to Bristol and Great Malvern are operated by Great Western Railway via the West Coastway Line.

Until deregulation in 1986, bus services in Brighton were provided by Southdown Motor Services and Brighton Borough Transport under a joint arrangement called “Brighton Area Transport Services”. Southdown were part of the nationalised NBC group and were based at Freshfield Road in the Kemptown area; Brighton Borough Transport were owned by the council and used the former tram depot at Lewes Road as their headquarters. Joint tickets were available and revenue was shared. The Brighton & Hove Bus Company, owned by the Go-Ahead Group since 1993, now runs most bus services in Brighton. Its fleet has about 280 buses. Compass Travel, The Big Lemon, Metrobus, Stagecoach South and The Sussex Bus also operate some services to central Brighton. The city had 1,184 bus stops in 2012, 456 of which had a shelter. Real-time travel information displays are provided at many stops.

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A Brighton & Hove bus service to East Moulsecoomb

The only park and ride facility in Brighton is based at the Withdean Stadium. It does not offer a dedicated shuttle bus service: intending passengers must join the Brighton & Hove Bus Company’s route 27 service to Saltdean—which travels via Brighton railway station, the Clock Tower and Old Steine—and pay standard fares. The 20-year City Plan released in January 2013 ruled out an official park-and-ride facility, stating it would be an “inefficient use of public money, particularly in an era of declining car use”. Councillors and residents in Woodingdean and Rottingdean have claimed that streets and car parks in those areas have become unofficial park-and-ride sites: drivers park for free and take buses into the city centre.

Shoreham Airport is 9 miles (14 km) west of Brighton near the town of Shoreham-by-Sea. The airport has since rebranded Brighton (Shoreham) Airport.

Gatwick Airport is 22 miles (35 km) north on the A23; and regular coach and rail services operate from Brighton to the Airport.

Gallery


Maps of Brighton

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San Francisco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San Francisco, California
Consolidated city-county
City and County of San Francisco

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San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

Flag_of_San_Francisco.svg

Flag

Seal_of_San_Francisco

Seal

Nickname(s): See List of nicknames for San Francisco
Motto: Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra (Spanish)
(English: “Gold in Peace, Iron in War”)

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Location of San Francisco in California
Coordinates: 37°47′N 122°25′W

  • Country:  United States
  • State: California
  • CSA: San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland
  • Metro: San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward
  • Mission: June 29, 1776
  • Incorporated: April 15, 1850
  • Founded by:
    • José Joaquin Moraga
    • Francisco Palóu
  • Named for: St. Francis of Assisi
  • Government
    • Type Mayor-council
    • Body Board of Supervisors
    • Mayor Edwin M. Lee (D)
    • Supervisors
  • List
    • Assembly members David Chiu (D)
  • Phil Ting (D)
    • State senator Scott Wiener (D)
    • United States Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D)
  • Jackie Speier (D)
  • Area
    • City and county 231.89 sq mi (600.59 km2)
    • Land 46.89 sq mi (121.46 km2)
    • Water 185.00 sq mi (479.14 km2) 80.00%
    • Metro 3,524.4 sq mi (9,128 km2)
  • Elevation: 52 ft (16 m)
  • Highest elevation: 934 ft (285 m)
  • Lowest elevation: 0 ft (0 m)
  • Population (2016):
    • City and county: 870,887
    • Estimate: (2016) 870,887
    • Rank: 13th, U.S.
    • Density: 18,573/sq mi (7,170/km2)
    • Metro: 4,679,166 (11th)
    • CSA: 8,751,807 (5th)
  • Demonym(s): San Franciscan
  • Time zone: Pacific Time Zone (UTC−8)
    • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC−7)
  • ZIP Codes:
    • 94102–94105, 94107–94112, 94114–94134, 94137, 94139–94147, 94151,
    • 94158–94161, 94163–94164, 94172, 94177, 94188
  • Area codes: 415/628
  • FIPS code: 06-67000
  • GNIS feature: IDs 277593, 2411786
  • Website: sf gov

San Francisco (initials SF) (/ˌsæn frənˈsɪskoʊ/, Spanish for Saint Francis; Spanish: [san franˈsisko]), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. The consolidated city-county covers an area of about 47.9 square miles (124 km2) at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is the fourth-most populous city in California, and the 13th-most populous in the United States, with a 2016 census-estimated population of 870,887. The population is projected to reach 1 million by 2033.
San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the “hippie” counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines.

A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman’s Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Dolby, Airbnb, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, Craigslist and Weather Underground. It is home to number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the California Academy of Sciences.

San Francisco has several nicknames, including “The City by the Bay”, “Golden Gate City”, “Frisco”, “SF”, “San Fran”, “Fog City”, and as well as older ones like “The City that Knows How”, “Baghdad by the Bay”, “The Paris of the West”, or simply “The City”. As of 2017, San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.

Contents
1 History
2 Geography
2.1 Cityscape
2.1.1 Neighborhoods
2.2 Climate
3 Demographics
3.1 Race, ethnicity, religion and languages
3.2 Education, households, and income
3.2.1 Homelessness
4 Economy
4.1 Tourism and conventions
5 Culture and contemporary life
5.1 LGBT
5.2 Entertainment and performing arts
5.3 Museums
6 Sports
7 Beaches and parks
8 Law and government
8.1 Crime
8.2 Gangs
8.3 Public safety
9 Education
9.1 Colleges and universities
9.2 Primary and secondary schools
9.3 Early education
10 Media
11 Transportation
11.1 Freeways and roads
11.2 Public transportation
11.3 Airports
11.4 Cycling and walking
12 Notable people
13 Consulates and sister cities
13.1 Sister Cities

1 | History


Historical affiliations

  • Spanish Empire 1776–1821
  • First Mexican Empire 1821–1823
  • Mexico United Mexican States 1823–1848
  • United States 1848–present