Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hungerford Bridge - London

View from Hungerford Bridge in London showing London Eye and Palace of Westminster

This photo of the view from Hungerford Bridge in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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Hungerford bridge links Charring Cross with Waterloo railway stations across the Thames. It is a composite of three bridges, one for trains bordered on either side by passenger bridges. This combination of bridges may also be known as Charring Cross Bridge or Golden Jubilee Bridges which can get confusing at times. The construction blends in very well with the appearance of the London Eye nearby as it sits between Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge.

The original Hungerford Bridge was a suspension bridge by Brunel in 1845, but this was quickly replaced around 1860 by 9 iron spans on pillars, though the original pile buttresses of the suspension bridge still remain, that on the north bank sits right by Embankment Gardens. Pedestrian walkways were added, refurbished and removed at various points over the next 150 years or so, but by the end of the 20C these had a reputation for being narrow, dilapidated and poorly lit.

The new footbridges achieved several notable things. Firstly they provided new 4.7m wide and 320m long foot-spans across the river on both sides of the railway bridge. Secondly, they brought back some of the history of the suspension bridge as the bridges decks are suspended from sets of cable rods attached to leaning steel pylons. This provides a new striking impression to the river and obscures the rail span. Lastly, they provided, under the guise of a publicly funded Golden Jubilee project, the money to refurbish the iron pillars of the bridge and set them inside concrete, thereby bailing out Railtrack which could not afford to do the required work to one of it’s bridges.

Unfortunately, when walking across Hungerford Bridge you can only see either up river or down river, as the rail bridge between the two footbridges obscures the views in the other direction. The panoramic image found on PanoramicEarth is a composite, taken from roughly the mid point of either span and stitched together so as to remove the central railway section.

The view from Hungerford Bridge upriver is shown here, you can see the London Eye, St. Stephens Tower (Big Ben to most) and the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament). In the other direction you look downriver to Waterloo Bridge beyond which the Thames curves away to the right on the way to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City.

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The nearest tube stations are Waterloo, Embankment, and Charring Cross.

The full panoramic image taken from Hungerford Bridge can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr. You can also find a marker for Hungerford Bridge on Tagzania.

For more articles on London see the London Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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