Address: SE1 7SG

900m from Vauxhall

700m from Westminster

Lambeth Bridge is found near Horseferry Road which is named after the old horse ferry that for centuries linked Lambeth to Westminster.

On the south bank of the river lies Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury who was the former holder of the ferry lease which ceased in 1750 when nearby Westminster Bridge opened. Outside Lambeth Palace was a landing stage where the Archbishop received the likes of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I on state occasions.

In 1664 permission to build a bridge was sought from Parliament but was refused due to opposition from the ferry operators. But by the end of the 18th century there were strong needs for a bridge at this crossing point. In 1809 an Act was passed to build a bridge, but funds weren’t available at the time and the Act lapsed. When another Act was passed in 1860 money was available and a suspension bridge was built, opening in 1862. Like many other London bridges it was a toll bridge until 1879.

Major repairs were needed in 1887 and in 1892 it was decided to build a new bridge. When still not built by 1905 a vehicle weight limit was imposed and gates were erected to limit pedestrians. Vehicles were later prohibited altogether.

Eventually, in 1929, work started on the new five span bridge. This was made of steel and concrete and is the one we see today, being opened in 1932 by King George V and Queen Mary. Lattice pylons were added at each end and these were topped with stone pine cones or pineapples thought to be symbols of friendship and hospitality, although some say they’re in recognition of the first pineapple to be grown in Britain, which was nearby.

Some of the most famous London landmarks are nearby. These include the Houses of Parliament, whose House of Lords red seats are the reason for the bridge’s red colour, the Headquarters of MI5, Tate Britain, the Millbank Tower and the aforementioned Lambeth Palace.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.