1817 London Bridges: Images of London
From Walks Through London by David Hughson
via Google Books
Vauxhall Bridge, which crosses the Thames, close to Cumberland Gardens, and was opened in July 1816, consists of nine arches, of equal span, formed of cast iron, and raised upon stone piers. The span of each arch is about eighty feet, and the width of each pier about fourteen. The elevation of the centre arch, above high water mark, is about thirty feet, and that of the other arches is not materially less.
The length of the bridge is about eight hundred feet, its width, exclusive of foot-ways, affords sufficient room for four carriages to pass abreast. The sides are guarded by light iron pallisadoes, through which even the foot passenger has an uninterrupted view of all the beautiful scenery which abounds on the banks, as well as of the interesting objects which hourly present themselves upon the bosom of the Thames.
The roads are so judiciously constructed, that the ascent to the bridge is scarcely perceptible, although originally elevated so much above the level of the ground on each side of the river. The approach to this bridge on the Surrey side is from the east of the Vauxhall turnpike, from which it is not above one hundred yards distant.
This bridge presents some resemblance of Buonaparte’s celebrated bridge of Austerlitz, but is far its superior in extent and elegance. South Lambeth, between Stockwell and Vauxhall, was chosen by Sir Noel Caron, Dutch ambassador to this Court thirty-three years, for a palace, which he built with two wings its present remains are an Academy.
“… in the summer of 1814, when, in honor of the allied sovereigns who visited England, the beautiful Chinese Bridge was first erected over the canal. Upon the centre of this bridge an elegant and lofty pagoda was then constructed, consisting of seven pyramidal stories. The pagoda was illuminated with gas lights; and brilliant fireworks, both flied and missile, were displayed from every division of this structure…”
Other London Bridges
Battle-Bridge was named from being situated on the ground, and over a water-course flowing out of the Thames, belonging to Battle Abbey.
At a small distance from London-Bridge, on the north side of the street, is the Church of St. Olave, built upon the site of an old one, and finished in 1739.
Southwark-Bridge: will be hailed as an excellent and substantial improvement. The greatest part of the iron-work is now delivered in London, and the remainder will be ready for putting up in the course of the summer. The middle arch is two hundred and forty feet span, and the two side arches will be two hundred and ten feet each; the width of the road-way and foot paths between the parapets will be forty-two feet, the same as Black Friar’s Bridge.
The south abutment, with the land arch over Bank side, is nearly completed, and ready to receive the iron for that side arch, which will be the first put up. One of the two piers is completed up to above high water mark, and the other is finished to above low water.
Among the benefits attending this undertaking are the following. It will greatly facilitate the commerce both of the London and Surrey side of the river, by dividing and lessening the superabundant traffic over London and Blackfriars Bridge, and prevent the occurrence of those injurious stoppages so frequent in the avenues near London-Bridge.