Address: Pimlico, London SW1V 3JN

Phone: 0207 582 7884

200m from Vauxhall

200m from Vauxhall

Named after the nearby medieval dwelling of Falkes Hall, Vauxhall Bridge connects Pimlico to Vauxhall.

The first of the two bridges to be on this site opened in 1816 and became the first iron bridge to cross the Thames. It had nine arches, was named Regent Bridge after the Prince Regent and was run by the Vauxhall Bridge Company who sold shares to finance the project. Soon after opening its name changed to Vauxhall Bridge.

Like others at the time it was operated as a toll bridge but only had half the traffic of Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges. In 1879 all London bridges came into public ownership at which point all tolls were removed. By this time the bridge was badly in need of repair and in 1881 the two central piers were removed and a single span was inserted.

By 1889 it was getting beyond repair and it was decided to replace the bridge at a cost of £484,000. The old bridge was dismantled in 1898 and a temporary wooden structure was built alongside. The new bridge was started in 1904 and was opened in 1906 by the Prince of Wales.

It was the first bridge in London to carry trams, firstly horse drawn then electric, and apart from a few small changes since then, has remained pretty much the same. One change occurred in 1973 when an extra traffic lane was built by narrowing the pavement on both sides.

To decorate the bridge, in 1907, eight giant female bronze statues were erected on the outer edges of the four piers on each side. They represent agriculture, pottery, architecture and engineering on the upstream side and science, education, fine arts and local government on the downstream side. One incredible feature of the bridge is the view alongside at very low tide of the remains of an ancient crossing. It’s made of oak, could have been built as early as 1500BC and is believed to have been a bridge over to an island halfway across the river.

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.