26 May 2014

London's Bridges

I went for a walk along the River Thames this afternoon with my husband and dog; something I've done on many occasions. After a pleasant walk through Battersea Park and spot of lunch we walked back towards Parsons Green on the south side of the river and the sun shone intensely upon Albert Bridge, one of the city's most ornate and majestic bridges. When I got home I wondered if I'd captured all of London's bridges, so decided to set my self a little challenge and have a look through my archives to see if I could pull together a picture of all the city's bridges (there are more than you think!). Not all of the bridges are particularly attractive or interesting (London Bridge, for example, is plain and dull, even if some tourists might get confused and think that Tower Bridge is, indeed, London Bridge), while others are wonderful examples of the city's varied and wonderful architecture and engineering projects.

Anyway, here's what I came up with - dating back over the past five years, so some of the photos are taken on old point-and-shoots. I started at Richmond, and went east until Tower Bridge, realising that there were indeed quite a few gaps along the way, especially at the west end of the river.

This is the very picturesque Richmond Bridge which dates back to 1777:

Immediately I found that there was a whole swathe of bridges that I'd not photographed - the Richmond Railway Bridge, Twickenham Bridge, Richmond Lock and Footbridge, even Kew Bridge, in spite of having visited the Gardens on a number of occasions. And no Kew Rail Bridge or Chiswick Bridges either.

The next one I managed to track down was Barnes Rail Bridge:

After Barnes it all comes a bit more familiar, and much-photographed!

This is Hammersmith Bridge:

Next is Putney Bridge (taken a few years ago, before they built the new towers beside the church on the Putney side:

Just a bit further east from Putney Bridge is Fulham Railway Bridge (never knew this was what it was called until today!). I don't seem to have a shot of it from a distance, but here is a view taken on the bridge on a grey day:

I struggled to find shots of Wandsworth Bridge - not the most photogenic - but found this one from 2009:

Next along is Battersea Railway Bridge, with a photo taken during the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 2012 (there's not usually steam trains going across it):

Apparently plans are underway to build a footbridge alongside, which will greatly reduce the journey time to a friend's house who lives almost on the other side! The next bridge is Battersea Bridge, which doesn't look very special at first glance, but inlaid panels glisten gold in the right light! It has some nice lamp-posts too, which have just been "done up":

The next bridge along is good old Albert Bridge, freshly repaired and bright and colourful as ever - here's the photo I took today, which inspired me to put this collection together:

I have a lot more photos of that bridge, taken in all kinds of weather at different times of day (eg the top one, seen at dawn)! The next one along is Chelsea Bridge, which I'm also rather fond of, with its silver rivets. Here's a slightly different view, with my beloved Battersea Power Station in the background:

Heading east, but not far from Chelsea Bridge is the Grosvenor Bridge, carrying the trains south from Victoria station, across the river, past the power station:

Next along is Vauxhall Bridge (don't have many shots of this one):

Now we're getting right into the heart of London, and the next one along is Lambeth Bridge, again less photographed by me:

The next bridge is another that I have photographed on a number of occasions - usually because of the Houses of Parliament on the other side. If you're a photographer in London you have to have spent at least one sunset with the camera and tripod on Westminster Bridge or just over the other side to capture it!

Next is the Hungerford Bridge and the Golden Jubilee Bridges (which I didn't know they were called), followed by Waterloo Bridge (don't have any recent ones of these):

The bridges east of here I always get a bit confused about, so this handy list of bridges on Wikipedia helped me out to identify and place the next ones along. First is Blackfriars Bridge:

Next to Blackfriars Bridge is the Blackfriars Railway Bridge, which you can just see behind this one; it was being repaired at the time of the photo below (taken from the Millennium Bridge, where we all watched a singer standing in the river as he sang):

The next one is much-photographed, by me and everyone else who comes to London:

Heading east you come to Southwark Bridge, which is not very well-known but is quite a nice design:

The next one is the Cannon Street Railway Bridge, a functional-looking bridge which I was surprised to find I had a couple of photos of:

As you can see, St. Paul's Cathedral makes a common back-drop for my photos of the bridges towards the east of the city! As mentioned earlier, London Bridge is probably one of the most nondescript of all the bridges over the River Thames in London. It does have some great architecture around it though. The first shot was taken in October 2011 when the Shard, on the south side of the bridge, was approaching completion; the other was taken in March 2012, when the "Cheese Grater" building was being built:

So, last but definitely not least, is Tower Bridge, probably London's finest:

I don't have any of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, right out in Thurrock, so my journey ends here! So, from the thirty bridges that span the Thames from Richmond to Thurrock I'm only missing seven, so not a bad representation of my city's bridges! It's interesting to see - looking at the old and new photos - how much the city skyline is changing, with so many sky-scrapers cropping up to change the view irreparably....

1 comment:

  1. Then you'll just have to come to Essex, Sophie, to complete the set! Coffee's on me.