Category Archives: Bridges in London

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







aerial photograph by


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


  • 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)


  • Opened: 30 June 1894; 123 years ago






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


  • 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)


  • Opened: 17 March 1973; 44 years ago




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


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


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


The bridge seen from St Paul’s Cathedral.


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.


Showing the cable suspension system.


The view east from the Millennium Bridge



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


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


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


  • Opened: 6 June 1921


Southwark Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral


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


Southwark Bridge at night


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


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


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


Blackfriars Bridge seen from Waterloo Bridge


Blackfriars Bridge with St Paul’s Cathedral behind


Blackfriars Bridge viewed from upstream, looking south


Blackfriars Bridge at night


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Waterloo Bridge, about 1925


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)


Waterloo Bridge by Charles Deane, 1821


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


  • Design Steel truss


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


Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges, seen from the north


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


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


Hungerford Bridges view from the River Thames in London.


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


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


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


Westminster Bridge


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


The first Westminster Bridge as painted by Canaletto, 1747





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


  • Design: Arch Bridge


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


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


Detail from upstream with DUKW, Victoria Tower in centre

Lambeth_Bridge_upstream_side1 (1)

Lambeth Bridge from Millbank, facing east towards Lambeth


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)


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

Lambeth Bridge 5



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


  • 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


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


  • Daily traffic: 50,533 vehicles (2004)

Vauxhall Bridge 1

Vauxhall Bridge 2

Vauxhall Bridge 3


Pomeroy’s Pottery


Pomeroy’s Agriculture


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


The SIS Building now dominates the southern end of the bridge


A slipway on the south bank is used by amphibious buses

Vauxhall Bridge 4

Vauxhall Bridge 5

Vauxhall Bridge the-view-at-sky-loft-london-optimised

Vauxhall Bridge St-Georges-Pan-2

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


  • 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


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


  • Daily traffic: 29,375 vehicles (2004)



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


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


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


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


Chelsea Bridge’s illuminations




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


  • 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


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


  • Daily traffic: 19,821 vehicles (2004)



Albert Bridge 3

Albert Bridge

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


  • 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


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


  • Daily traffic 26,041 vehicles (2004)




Battersea Bridge 3





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


  • 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


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


  • Daily traffic: 53,299 vehicles (2004)











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


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


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









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


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


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










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August 27, 2014_004-Edit




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


  • 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


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


  • Daily traffic: 39,710 vehicles (2004)









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


  • 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


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


The current (third) Kew Bridge










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


  • Opened: 3 July 1933




Twickenham_Bridge (1)

Twickenham_Bridge (2)




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


  • 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


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


  • Daily traffic: 34,484 vehicles (2004)










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


  • 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


  • Designer: Edward Lapidge
  • Opened: 17 July 1828


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


Kingston Bridge from upstream at Kingston












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


  • 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


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


Hampton Court bridge in 2006