Vauxhall Bridge

Vauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a southeast–northwest direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. It was built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the southbank of the Thames. It is one of the first bridges to be built to be cast-iron, with stone arches with piers of nine 78-foot cast- iron arches. It opened in 1906 and is the only bridge in London that carries a bus lane.

About Vauxhall Bridge in brief

Summary Vauxhall BridgeVauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a southeast–northwest direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. The original bridge, the first iron bridge over the Thames, was built by a private company and operated as a toll bridge before being taken into public ownership in 1879. The second bridge, which took eight years to build, was the first in London to carry trams. In 1963 it was proposed to replace the bridge with a modern development containing seven floors of shops, office space, hotel rooms and leisure facilities above the river, but the plans were abandoned because of costs. With the exception of alterations to the road layout and the balustrade, the design and appearance of the current bridge has remained almost unchanged since 1907. The bridge today is an important part of London’s road system and carries the A202 road and Cycle Superhighway 5 across the Thames. It was built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the southbank of the Thames and was originally known as Regent Bridge. The building of both bridges was problematic, with both the first and second bridges requiring several redesigns from multiple architects. In the early 13th century, Anglo-Norman mercenary Falkes de Breauté built a manor house in the then empty marshlands of South Lambeth, across the river from Westminster.

The lands surrounding his LambethManor house continued to be known as Falkes’ Hall, later Vaux hall. With exception of housing around the New Spring Gardens pleasure park, opened in around 1661, the land at VauxHall remained sparsely populated into the 19th century. The nearest fixed river crossings were the bridges at Westminster, 1 mile downstream, and Battersea, 2 miles upstream. In 1806 a scheme was proposed by Ralph Dodd to open the southBank of Thames for development, by building a new major road from Hyde Park Corner to Kennington and Greenwich, crossing the river upstream of the existing Westminster Bridge. On 9 May 1811, Lord Dundas laid the foundation stone of the bridge on the northern bank. On 4 June 1816, over five years after construction began, the bridge opened over five piers, initially named Regent bridge, but shortly afterwards renamed Prince George, after George, Prince of Wales. It is one of the first bridges to be built to be cast-iron, with stone arches with piers of nine 78-foot cast- iron arches. It opened in 1906 and is the only bridge in London that carries a bus lane, making it the first road in the capital to have two bus lanes on either side of the river. It has been open to the public since 1907 and is a major part of the city’s transport network. It also carries a number of tourist attractions, including the London Eye and the Victoria and Albert Museum.