The Albert Bridge no.1 was commissioned in 1864 but only completed in 1873. Prince Albert had suggested a new bridge would ease the congestion on the Chelsea Bridge and relieve the pressure on the shaky Battersea Bridge. London was expanding south of the river at this time and easy access in both directions was vital. While negotiations in London were stalled the Franz Joseph I Bridge was built in Prague to the same design as proposed for the Albert Bridge in London. (The bridge in Prague was damaged during WWII and demolished in 1949.)
Battersea Park is one of the earliest Municipal Parks in London, first proposed in 1844. James Pennethorne created a design which was further developed by John Gibson, working for the Metropolitan Board of Works. Continue reading
At Chelsea Bridge the Thames was apparently so shallow that it could be forded, and some say that Caesar’s troops crossed here. When the first bridge was built workmen found Celtic and Roman remains, and the Battersea Shield, but I can’t find any further information about a ford, nor about dredging in current times, which would surely be necessary if the river is so shallow. Continue reading
‘..The Victoria Railway Bridge … is one of the most satisfactory bridges spanning the Thames…’, says Mr Bradshaw. ‘…Built on three stone piers, its noble iron arches have an appearance of strength and elegance which, with its level road, make it one of the latest triumphs of science and art, remembering that it has been completed in about twelve months. Over this important bridge run, or will run, the trains of the Brighton, Crystal Palace, Chatham and Dover, and Great Western railway companies to the new and magnificent Victoria Station..’. Continue reading
After Vauxhall Bridge ‘…The river now introduces us to various interesting objects in rapid succession. To the right lie the new streets, stretching forth towards the modern elegant region of Belgravia and exhibiting evidence of the wealth and station of the metropolitan colonists advancing in this direction. To the left is ‘Nine Elms’ with its steamboat pier. A little higher stood the Red House, a noted place of resort for pigeon shooting and a favourite haunt for Sunday strolling citizens…’, says Mr Bradshaw. Continue reading
‘..Vauxhall Bridge, with a pier affording convenient facilities for passenger, is now encountered..’, says Mr Bradshaw. Continue reading
There was an obvious need to cross the Thames from Westminster Palace to Lambeth Palace and this was done by ferry. There were ferries for pedestrians, and ferries for horses and carriages, and it was a lucrative trade for the Watermen, who unsurprisingly opposed the building of a bridge in this area.
People & their cart waiting for the Horse Ferry, c.1800 (www.british-history.ac.uk)