Famous London Bridges – Names and History

Tourist Attractions

By Christine Hitt

London, the capital city of England, is known for its iconic bridges that connect different parts of the city and cross over the famous River Thames. These bridges are not only a means of transportation but also serve as landmarks and tourist attractions. Some of the most well-known bridges in London have unique names that reflect their historical significance and architectural beauty.

One of the most famous bridges in London is the Tower Bridge, which is often mistaken for the London Bridge. Tower Bridge is an iconic symbol of the city and is known for its distinctive architecture and Victorian Gothic style. It was opened in 1894 and is located close to the Tower of London, hence its name. The bridge features two towers and a bascule, allowing it to be raised to accommodate passing ships.

Another notable bridge in London is the Millennium Bridge, also known as the “Wobbly Bridge” due to its initial swaying motion when it was first opened to the public in 2000. The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian-only bridge that stretches across the River Thames, connecting the City of London with the Tate Modern. Its modern design and steel structure make it a popular spot for photographers and tourists.

The Westminster Bridge is another well-known bridge in London that offers breathtaking views of the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament. This bridge, painted in green, white, and gold, is often featured in postcards and movies that depict the cityscape of London. The Westminster Bridge is also commonly used by pedestrians and cyclists as a convenient route between Westminster and the South Bank.

List of London Bridges

London, the capital city of England, is known for its iconic bridges that span the River Thames. Here is a list of some of the most famous and prominent bridges in London:

Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks in London. It was completed in 1894 and is an iconic symbol of the city. The bridge is famous for its Victorian Gothic style and its twin towers.

London Bridge: London Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the city. The current bridge, which was opened in 1973, is actually the latest in a series of bridges that have spanned the Thames at this location since Roman times.

Westminster Bridge: Westminster Bridge is located next to the Palace of Westminster, which houses the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The bridge offers stunning views of the river and the London Eye.

Blackfriars Bridge: Blackfriars Bridge is a railway and pedestrian bridge that crosses the Thames. The current bridge, completed in 1869, is the latest in a series of bridges that have stood on this site since the 13th century.

Vauxhall Bridge: Vauxhall Bridge is a steel and granite bridge that connects the districts of Vauxhall and Westminster. It was opened in 1906 and is known for its Art Nouveau style.

Millennium Bridge: The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that links the Tate Modern to St Paul’s Cathedral. It was opened in 2000 and is often referred to as the “Wobbly Bridge” due to its initial swaying motion.

Albert Bridge: Albert Bridge is a road bridge that connects Chelsea and Battersea. It was completed in 1873 and is famous for its distinctive design and decorative features.

Southwark Bridge: Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge that connects the City of London with Southwark. It was opened in 1921 and provides excellent views of the nearby Shard and the Globe Theatre.

Margaret Bridge: Margaret Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the River Thames in Wandsworth. It was opened in 1991 and is named after Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

These are just a few examples of the many bridges that can be found in the city of London. Each bridge has its own unique history and architectural style, contributing to the rich tapestry of the city’s landmarks.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in London. It is a combined bascule and suspension bridge that crosses the River Thames. The bridge got its name because it is located near the Tower of London, a historic castle that has stood on the site for nearly 1000 years.

Tower Bridge was completed in 1894 and was designed by Sir Horace Jones and Sir John Wolfe Barry. It took a total of eight years to construct and involved the work of over 400 construction workers.

One of the unique features of Tower Bridge is its bascules, or the two arms that can be raised to allow larger ships to pass through. These bascules are often raised for ceremonial purposes or special events.

Tower Bridge is not only a functional bridge but also a tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which offers panoramic views of the city from the high-level walkways. They can also learn about the bridge’s history through interactive displays and exhibitions.

Location River Thames, London
Design Bascule and suspension bridge
Length 244 meters (800 feet)
Construction 1886-1894
Architects Sir Horace Jones and Sir John Wolfe Barry

Tower Bridge is a symbol of London’s rich history and architectural grandeur. It serves as a reminder of the city’s industrial past and its ongoing importance as a global center of trade and commerce.

London Bridge

London Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in London. It has a rich history dating back to Roman times. The current London Bridge, located in the heart of the city, was opened to traffic in 1973. It replaced a 19th-century stone arched bridge designed by John Rennie.

London Bridge is not to be confused with Tower Bridge, another famous London landmark located nearby. While Tower Bridge is often mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, the two bridges are distinct structures. London Bridge is a simple concrete box girder bridge, while Tower Bridge is an iconic suspension bridge with two prominent towers.

London Bridge has been rebuilt numerous times throughout history. The first recorded bridge was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD. It was made of wood and had a pontoon bridge nearby. Over the centuries, London Bridge has been rebuilt and upgraded to meet the demands of the growing city.

Today, London Bridge is an important transport link connecting the City of London with Southwark. It carries both vehicle and pedestrian traffic across the River Thames. The bridge offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding areas, including the Tower of London, the Shard, and the City skyline.

London Bridge has also been featured in literature and popular culture. It is often referenced in nursery rhymes and has appeared in various films, including the 2012 movie “London Bridge Is Falling Down.”

Visitors to London can walk across London Bridge and take in its historical significance and architectural beauty. It is a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring the city.

Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge is a historic bridge located in London. It crosses the River Thames and connects the City of London with the South Bank. The current bridge, which opened in 1869, is the latest incarnation of a bridge that has existed on this site since the 13th century.

The name “Blackfriars” comes from the nearby Blackfriars Monastery, which was a Dominican friary that was established in the area in the 13th century. The original bridge, known as “Old Blackfriars Bridge,” was a stone bridge built in 1769. It was designed by Robert Mylne and had a series of arches that spanned the river.

In the 19th century, the old bridge was deemed to be too narrow and structurally unsound. In 1864, construction began on a new bridge to replace it. The current Blackfriars Bridge was designed by Joseph Cubitt and opened in 1869. It is a five-span bridge with cast iron arches and granite piers.

Over the years, the bridge has undergone several renovations and modifications. In the 20th century, the bridge was widened to accommodate more traffic. In the 1980s, a new railway bridge was added alongside the road bridge, allowing trains to pass over the River Thames.

Today, Blackfriars Bridge is an important transportation route in London, carrying both road traffic and trains. It offers beautiful views of the River Thames and the surrounding cityscape, making it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

If you visit London, be sure to take a walk across Blackfriars Bridge to experience its rich history and enjoy the stunning views it has to offer.

Southwark Bridge

Southwark Bridge is a prominent river crossing in London, connecting the City of London with the borough of Southwark. It spans the River Thames between the Upper Thames Street on the north bank and Southwark Street on the south bank. The current Southwark Bridge, opened in 1921, is the third bridge to be built at this location.

The first Southwark Bridge was opened in 1819, designed by John Rennie. It was a cast iron bridge with five wrought iron arches. However, this bridge had a limited lifespan as it was unable to withstand heavy traffic and had to be replaced after just over one hundred years.

The second Southwark Bridge, known as the Queen Street Bridge, was opened in 1869. It was a steel bridge with three giant arches, allowing for greater waterway access for ships. However, this bridge also suffered from structural issues and was closed to vehicular traffic in 1916.

The current Southwark Bridge was officially opened by King George V on 6th June 1921. It was designed by architect Sir Ernest George and engineer Sir Basil Mott. This bridge is a steel arch bridge with five spans, supported by piers in the riverbed. It features ornate decorations and is considered a fine example of early 20th-century architecture.

Southwark Bridge offers stunning views of the London skyline and is an important transport link in the city. It is also a popular spot for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river. The bridge is owned and maintained by the City of London Corporation and is a Grade II listed structure.

Southwark Bridge has appeared in various forms of media, including films, television shows, and literature. Its iconic design and central location make it a recognizable landmark in London’s landscape.

Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that spans the River Thames in London. It was officially opened in June 2000 and was originally called the “London Millennium Footbridge”. The bridge connects the Tate Modern art gallery on the south bank of the river with the City of London on the north bank.

The Millennium Bridge is a suspension bridge and is known for its unique design. It is a steel and concrete construction, with a slender deck that is supported by cables running between two large steel towers. The bridge has a distinctive appearance, with its sleek and modern design.

The bridge was designed by architects Sir Norman Foster and Sir Anthony Caro, and engineering firm Arup. It was a joint project between the City of London, the Greater London Authority, and the Millennium Commission. The bridge was constructed to commemorate the new millennium and provide a much-needed pedestrian crossing over the River Thames in central London.

However, the opening of the Millennium Bridge was met with some controversy. Shortly after its opening, it was discovered that the bridge had a significant wobble when people walked across it. This led to the bridge being temporarily closed just two days after its official opening.

After extensive investigations and modifications, the bridge was reopened in 2002. The engineers made changes to the bridge’s structure and added dampers to reduce the oscillations caused by people walking across it.

Today, the Millennium Bridge is a popular tourist attraction and a key pedestrian route in London. It offers stunning views of the River Thames, the City of London, and the surrounding landmarks, such as St Paul’s Cathedral. The bridge is also known for its role in several films, including “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

The Millennium Bridge represents a modern and innovative addition to London’s famous bridges, attracting visitors from around the world with its unique design and picturesque views.

Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge is a historic bridge that spans the River Thames in central London. It connects the districts of Westminster and Lambeth and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

The bridge was originally opened in 1817 and was named after the Battle of Waterloo, which occurred two years earlier and saw the Duke of Wellington defeat Napoleon. The current bridge is the second iteration of Waterloo Bridge, as the original wooden bridge was replaced with the current stone structure in 1945.

Waterloo Bridge offers stunning views of the cityscape, including landmarks such as the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Houses of Parliament. It is a popular spot for both locals and tourists to take in the sights and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Waterloo Bridge has also been featured in various works of art and literature, including the famous novel “Waterloo Bridge” by E.V. Timms and the film adaptation with the same name. It has been a source of inspiration for many artists over the years and continues to captivate visitors with its beauty and historical significance.

Today, Waterloo Bridge remains an important thoroughfare for both vehicles and pedestrians, providing a vital link between the north and south banks of the River Thames. It stands as a testament to London’s rich history and serves as a reminder of the city’s enduring resilience and beauty.


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Christine Hitt

Christine Hitt, a devoted Hawaii enthusiast from Oahu, has spent 15 years exploring the islands, sharing her deep insights in respected publications such as Los Angeles Times, SFGate, Honolulu, and Hawaii magazines. Her expertise spans cultural nuances, travel advice, and the latest updates, making her an invaluable resource for all Hawaii lovers.

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