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London Bridge  

This image illustrates the old London Bridge, looking North West from the south bank of the River Thames.
Set in the first half of the seventeenth century during the reign of King James I.

St Pauls Cathedral can be seen in the centre background in its original form before the Great Fire of London of 1666.

historic reconstruction and illustration

London Bridge was built in 1209 by King Henry II.
Narrow stone arches gave support to an expanding development of houses, shops and chapels and by 1600 these had grown in number to approximately 200 buildings.

As congestion across the bridge became impossible, all houses and shops were eventually demolished through an act of parliament in 1762.

The medieval bridge remained in use up until 1831 when it was finally replaced by means of a competition.
To alleviate dangerously fast currents sweeping through multiple narrow arches, a design with five wide stone arches was agreed.
Continuity of traffic over the river was maintained by building the new bridge 30 meters upstream from the old.
The old bridge was demolished once the new was completed.

Published in Londons’ Southwark News ; Jan 2015

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