Southwark Bridge - 1921 - London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.539 W 000° 05.646
30U E 701647 N 5710432
Quick Description: Southwark Bridge spans the River Thames in central London. It traverses the Thames in a NNE/SSW direction and is used by vehicles and pedestrians. The bridge has a dedicated cycle lane.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/25/2013 9:22:20 AM
Waymark Code: WMGYWR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 7

Long Description:

A date plaque, close to the centre of the bridge on the west side of the road, advises:

Southwark Bridge

Re-built by the Bridge House Estates Committee
of the Corporation of London
1918 - 1921

Opened for traffic by their Majesties
King George V. and Queen Mary
6th June 1921
Sir Ernest Lamb C.M.G., J.P., Chairman
Basil Mott C.B., Engineer
Sir Ernest George R.A., Architect

The bridge is Grade II listed and the entry at the English Heritage website tells us:

"Road and foot bridge, 1913-21, designed by Basil Mott of Mott, Hay and Anderson; piers and turrets to the designs of Sir Ernest George RA. Five steel arches supported by granite piers which are rusticated. Two spans of 123 ft and 131 ft on each side; central span of 141. ft. The spacing was determined so that the piers would align with those of Blackfriars Road Bridge (q.v.) and Rennie's London Bridge. The piers, whose classical design shows a typical Edwardian exuberance, were completed by the outbreak of war; work continued, with increasing delays due to material shortages, until 1917. After the war mounting traffic congestion in the City made its completion a high priority , and Southwark Bridge was one of the first major public works projects to be resumed after the Annistice. It was opened by King George V in 1921. The total cost was borne by the Bridge House Estates Committee."

The Open Buildings website also tells us:

"Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge for traffic linking Southwark and the City across the River Thames, in London, England. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott. It was built by Sir William Arrol & Co. and opened in 1921. The bridge is owned and maintained by City Bridge Trust, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.

A previous bridge on the site, designed by John Rennie, opened in 1819, and was originally known as Queen Street Bridge, as shown on the 1818 John Snow Map of London. The bridge consisted of three large cast-iron spans supported by granite piers. It was known as the "Iron Bridge" in comparison to London Bridge, the "Stone Bridge". The bridge was notable for having the longest cast iron span, 240 feet (73 m), ever made. Halfway along the bridge on the Western side is a plaque which is inscribed: Re-built by the Bridge House Estates Committee of the Corporation of London 1913-1921 Opened for traffic by their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary 6th June 1921 Sir Ernest Lamb CMG, JP Chairman Basil Mott, CB Engineer Sir Ernest George RA Architect The bridge provides access to Upper Thames Street on the north bank and, due to the ring of steel, there is no further access to the City and the north. This has led to a reputation of it being the least used bridge in central London and it is sometimes known as the "car park bridge" as coach drivers use it to park their vehicles. The current bridge was given Grade II listed structure status in 1995.

The south end is near the Tate Modern, the Clink Prison Museum, the Globe Theatre, and the Financial Times building. The north end is near Cannon Street station. Below the bridge on the south side are some old steps, which were once used by Thames watermen as a place to moor their boats and wait for customers. Southwark Bridge was built into the steps. Below the bridge on the south side is a pedestrian tunnel, containing a frieze depicting the Thames frost fairs. The next bridge upstream is the London Millennium Bridge and the next downstream is Cannon Street Railway Bridge.

Popular culture
Southwark Bridge is frequently referenced by Charles Dickens, for example in Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend , and there was a recreation of the old bridge made for the 2008 Little Dorrit (TV serial) . The cream painted houses on the south side of the bridge, just after the FT building, were used for the exterior shots of the shared house in This Life."

Date built or dedicated as indicated on the date stone or plaque.: Opened on 6th June 1921

Date stone, plaque location.: Centre of bridge on the west side of the road.

Road, body of water, land feature, etc. that the bridge spans.: River Thames

Website (if available): Not listed

Parking (safe parking location): Not Listed

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