Blackfriars Bridge

Category: Bridges

Blackfriars Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge. The north end is near the Inns of Court, and Temple Church, along with Blackfriars station. The south end is near the Tate Modern art gallery and the Oxo Tower.

The first fixed crossing at Blackfriars was a 995-foot (303 m) long toll bridge designed in an Italianate style by Robert Mylne and constructed with nine semi-elliptical arches of Portland stone.

Beating designs by John Gwynn and George Dance, it took nine years to build, opening to the public in 1769. It was originally named William Pitt Bridge (after the Prime Minister William Pitt) but was soon renamed after Blackfriars Monastery, a Dominican priory which once stood nearby.

The current bridge was completed in 1869 and consists of five wrought iron arches built to a design by Joseph Cubitt. It is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the Corporation of London.

Due to the volume of traffic over the bridge, it was widened between 1907–10, from 70 feet (21 m) to its present 105 feet (32 m).

The bridge became internationally notorious in 1982, when the Italian banker Roberto Calvi was found hanged below one of its arches in what was originally believed to be a suicide, but is now officially regarded as a murder.


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