Sunday, 1 February 2015

London Bridge




The fist ever stone built bridge of London's many bridges was way back in 1176. It was undertaken by a Norman called Peter de Colechurch. England had been occupied by the French speaking Norman overlords for one hundred and ten years by this time. The Norman dynasty was firmly established by now. This new bridge took 33 years to build and sat upon twenty great arches that went into the river. There were even water wheels put upon the sides of the arches for grinding of grain. Shops and wear houses began to spring up. 

London Bridge of 1600 was very heavy maintenance as the river flow constantly eroded the thick pillars. It was constantly collapsing in parts and being rebuilt. Hence the nursery rhyme of: London Bridge is Falling Down. It was a great shame because the bridge was often a hive of activity with the market upon it. It was full of hustle and bustle. Above is a computer image of the bridge which I found on Twitter.

This London Bridge survived so many trials and tribulations - even the Great Fire of London in 1666, although the bridge was left much weakened by the event. This bridge was finally demolished in 1831 because a new London Bridge was built during the 1820s. This 1820s bridge was dismantled brick by brick in the 1960s and transported to Lake Havasu in Arizona USA. 

I wonder if the old bridge demolished in 1833 with all its history might have been maintained in this day and age. I'm sure that there would have been better ways to preserve such a monument and perhaps it would have been more valued by heratige trusts. One can only wonder.

I would suppose many of us would like to go back in time and take a walk over that bridge during the Elizabethan era. It is also important not to confuse London Bridge with Tower Bridge by the Tower of London.


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