Westminster Bridge in London

Photo of Westminster Bridge in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Westminster Bridge in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Westminster Bridge

Spanning the Thames between Westminster and Lambeth, London, England, Westminster SW1
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To most tourists who cross Westminster Bridge the span is rather unremarkable. But those who know and love London know and love this bridge. It is one of more than a dozen bridges that reach across the Thames connecting the south bank to the heart of London. But there are a few features of the Westminster bridge that make it noteworthy. Because of its proximity to Parliament, the bridge is closely linked with the Palace of Westminster. It has the green color of the House of Commons, and the wrought iron detail was done by Charles Barry, the same architect who designed the Parliament building.

The former bridge on this location was built from 1739 to 1750. It was made of at least 14 stone arches. Its length is estimated between 1,000 and 1,300 feet; 1,038 and 1,233 foot lengths are both recorded. It sounds like a magnificent structure, but was not popular when it opened. It was called the "bridge of fools" in part because the money for it was raised through a lottery. The bridge was known to sway and within a decade of its opening it started to crumble.

The new bridge that is still there today is 827 feet long, and built of iron. It has withstood everything the city has been able to throw at it, and shows few signs of aging.

Quick Facts
  • Construction start: 1854
  • Construction finish: 1862
  • Designed by: Thomas Page
  • Type: Bridge
  • Maximum Length: 827 feet / 252 meters
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