Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lambeth Bridge - London

View of Palace of Westminster and London Eye from Lambeth Bridge

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

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There has been a Thames crossing at the current site of Lambeth Bridge for centuries, though the first bridge crossing here was built in 1862. The original Lambeth Bridge was a toll suspension bridge, but the approaches were too steep for most coaches to use. The current bridge was built in 1932 by King George V. At either end are Obelisks topped with pine cones – the traditional symbol of hospitality since Roman times.

Lambeth Bridge links Westminster with Lambeth and offers great views back up the Thames towards Westminster Bridge. Just on the south side of Lambeth Bridge is the Museum of Garden History and Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. There is a peasant walk along the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament from Lambeth Bridge to Westminster Bridge.

On the north side, Lambeth Bridge joins up to Horseferry Road and Millbank. Here also is the southern end of Victoria Tower Gardens, which link the bridge with the Palace of Westminster. These gardens contain a number of statues, including a suffragette and a cast of Rodin's Burghers of Calais.

As can be seen from this photo, looking down the river towards Westminster from Lambeth Bridge you get a great view of the Palace of Westminster, partially shielded by the trees of the Victoria Tower Gardens. The rest of London appears on the skyline above Westminster Bridge, while on the left the London Eye towers over the surrounding buildings.

Up until 1750 the Thames crossing here used to be by ferry, which had the unfortunate reputation for sinking. In 1633 it did so with the belongings of Archbishop Laud, and then in 1656 carrying Oliver Cromwell’s coach. Early attempts to secure permission for a bridge received successful opposition from the Company of Watermen. However, the opening of Westminster Bridge in 1750 killed off the ferry trade. Another 100 years passed before the first Lambeth Bridge was built.

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The nearest Tube stations to Lambeth Bridge include Lambeth North and Westminster.

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