31: Old London Bridge: Part 2

The Demolition of Old London Bridge, 1832 by J.W.S. Credit: Guildhall Gallery, London.

Part one of this two part post on the Old London Bridge that existed from 1196 to 1832, concentrated on what it was built and rebuilt from. see Part 1 here https://buildinglondon.blog/2022/02/15/30-old-london-bridge-part-1/

This much shorter second part of the post is going to list what happened to it all the bits after it was demolished! Blog posts will follow!

“Ruins of the Crypt, or Under Chapel of St Thomas, on Old London Bridge. As discover’d February 1832 at the late Demolition of the Bridge’.
Etching by Edward William Cooke (1811-1880) from his ‘Views of the old and new London bridges’ published in 1833.
The Demolition of Old London Bridge 26 January 1832, by H. Pyall after H.C., published by S. Knight, London 1832 [1]

And what happened to all the bits of Old London Bridge is something that has already been investigated and covered very well previously so I’m following in some great footsteps, down a well trodden path!  

Vic Keegan, whose Lost London column is absolutely brilliant, and a major source of inspiration for the Building London blog,  [2] and now with a book out, at all good bookshops [3]  has specifically covered the fate of London Bridge stones [4] and has also done an brilliant Google Map pinpointing the resting places of various bits and pieces of the Old London Bridge, noting 30 sites in all! [5]

Vic Keegan’s book from December 2020

Matt Brown at the, also brilliant, Londonist has a great feature ‘Whatever happened to Old London Bridge’, with a some new finds from people writing in! [ 6 ] And Londontopia has covers some of the same ground here, though mainly covering New London Bridge of 1830. [7]

Shelter from the Old London Bridge in Victoria Park

And so this blog will be featuring many of these finds over the course of this year and already has several posts in development on the Victoria Park shelters, Beaumont Quay and Ingress Abbey, BUT I also have some other previously not covered suggestions and possibilities I am currently researching! So watch this space!  

Beaumont Quay

Known sites – there will be more to be discovered!

The Mediaeval Bridge
– Merstham Church
– St Magnus the Martyr
– Greenhithe
– Ingress Abbey
– Heathfield Road Wandsworth
– Beaumont Quay

The 1750 London Bridge
– St Magnus the Martyr
– Victoria Park
– Guys Hospital
– East Sheen
– Gilwell Park, Sewardstone
– Myddleton House, Enfield
– Warden, Sheppey?
– Highams Park?

The 1832 London Bridge
– remains in situ on south side
– blocks on Tooley Street/London Bridge
– Lake Havasu!
– Ponders End Leisure Centre
– Waltham Abbey Millennium Park
– Kew Gardens
– Barking
– The Bank of England
– Mill Hill School
– Amersfoort, Nederland.

It’s worth noting that 95% of stones have no known destination, though it’s thought that a significant amount of them ended up at the bottom of the Thames, where they will have filled in the scour holes that the previous narrow arches of the old bridge created. It is possible therefore that old pieces of ragstone and limestone found on the Thames beaches downstream of the bridge could well be pieces of Old London Bridge, but also that there may be many other buildings of 1830-3 that have bits of the Old London Bridge in them, like Ingress Abbey below, still waiting to be discovered!

Ingress Abbey

[1] https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co64466/the-demolition-of-old-london-bridge-26-january-1832-print-aquatint
[2] https://www.onlondon.co.uk/category/culture/lost-london/
[3] https://www.londonsociety.org.uk/post/book-review-vic-keegans-lost-london
[4] https://www.onlondon.co.uk/vic-keegans-lost-london-100-where-to-look-for-london-bridge/
[5] https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?source=gplus-ogsb&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&mid=1keR5HrN8ZN6KLI4vz_QLTa4p0bM&ll
[6] https://londonist.com/2016/08/whatever-happened-to-old-london-bridge 
[7] https://londontopia.net/columns/lauras-london/london-bridge-is-falling-down-a-history-of-london-bridge-and-where-to-find-old-london-bridge/  

One response to “31: Old London Bridge: Part 2”

  1. […] Old London Bridge Part 2 .. where did it end up! https://buildinglondon.blog/2022/02/22/31-old-london-bridge-part-2/%5B32%5D Old London Bridge stones at Beaumont Quay on the Essex North Sea coast […]


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