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- About London
- Tourist Sights
The London Bridge, with a history that dates back to the Roman Empire, is an iconic symbol of London. Spanning nearly 270 metres in length and 32 metres wide, this bridge is no small one. The bridge has fallen apart and been rebuilt several times over its storied history. The London Bridge was, in fact, literally falling down at some moments in history.
Since its last reconstruction in the 19th century, it has come to truly represent modern London. Sophisticated yet classic, the bridge embodies the storied history of England and its traditional culture while boasting a cutting-edge look. No matter what you planned for yourself when visiting London, make sure to at least stop and take in a view of the grand London Bridge. Walking, biking or driving across it is also a pleasure.
The modern day bridge design was created by Mott, Hay and Anderson and constructed by John Mowlem and Company in the early 1970’s. The concrete and steel bridge, architecturally speaking, has two main features. One is that it is hollow on the interior. Another is that the pavement has a heating system beneath it to keep roads and paths iceless and smooth during the winter. After all, that London weather can get snowy and bitterly cold.
The Romans, after invading the London area, built the first London Bridge out of wood. After leaving the newly established city of London, the bridge declined into disrepair and wasn’t remodeled until Saxon times.
In the early 11th century, the Danes rebuilt the bridge. However, the Vikings from Norway attacked via the Thames River. Once claiming the city, they pulled the bridge down. Hence we have the famous song.
In early Medieval Times the bridge was rebuilt with stone at the orders of Peter de Colechurch. In the early 13th century, King John implemented the building of estates on the bridge. It was King John who turned the bridge into a London shopping, housing and business haven. At that time the bridge had all you could fancy.
The 14th century saw tumultuous times in London and the bridge again started falling down. Those who committed heresy and treason had their heads stuck to the stake on the bridge. Hence the London Bridge’s became powerfully intertwined with London history during this era. The likes of Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and Joseph Cade were stacked on wooden pikes on the north side of the bridge. If you visit this bridge on a gloomy evening, be forewarned. The ghosts Medieval London lurk.
In the latter half of the 16th century, the Nonesuch House was built on the bridge and a drawbridge was erected. In 1633, a fire was started accidentally by a local peasant and new plans for rebuilding were thereafter instituted.
In 1824, the bridge was relocated a little west after John Remmie’s design was accepted and put into construction. Granite was the main material used. The last remodeling of the bridge occurred in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
The London Bridge Experience is one of the best family friendly activities in London. The museum showcases the glorious and scary history of the London Bridge from the arrival of the Romans to present day. Going on Halloween and strolling through the London Tombs is thrilling. Indeed the ghosts of history’s past come out to play. Tickets are £23 for adults and £17 for children.
Walking and biking in London is very popular and so is walking and biking across the London Bridge. Take the opportunity to do so. If you drove to London, you should at least drive across the bridge. The views offered are unforgettable.
Taking the Tube in London is your fastest and cheapest method for getting there via public transportation. Get off at the London Bridge stop on the south end of the bridge or Monument at the north end.