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Coordinates : 51°30′03″N 0°07′19″W / 51.50083°N 0.12194°W / 51.50083; -0.12194

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

Westminster
Westminster
Bridge

CARRIES A302 road

CROSSES River Thames
River Thames

LOCALE London

HERITAGE STATUS Grade II* listed structure

PRECEDED BY Lambeth Bridge

FOLLOWED BY Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges

CHARACTERISTICS

DESIGN Arch bridge

TOTAL LENGTH 820 feet (250 m)

WIDTH 85 feet (26 m)

NO. OF SPANS 7

HISTORY

DESIGNER Thomas Page

OPENED 24 May 1862

Westminster
Westminster
Bridge by Joseph Farrington, 1789 (the original bridge)

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE is a road-and-foot-traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, linking Westminster
Westminster
on the west side and Lambeth on the east side.

The bridge is painted predominantly green, the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons which is on the side of the Palace of Westminster
Westminster
nearest to the bridge. This is in contrast to Lambeth Bridge , which is red, the same colour as the seats in the House of Lords
House of Lords
and is on the opposite side of the Houses of Parliament.

In 2005–2007, it underwent a complete refurbishment, including replacing the iron fascias and repainting the whole bridge. It links the Palace of Westminster
Westminster
on the west side of the river with County Hall and the London Eye
London Eye
on the east and was the finishing point during the early years of the London Marathon .

The next bridge downstream is the Hungerford footbridge and upstream is Lambeth Bridge . Westminster
Westminster
Bridge was designated a Grade II* listed structure in 1981.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Image gallery * 3 In popular culture * 4 References * 5 External links

HISTORY

For over 600 years, the nearest bridge to London Bridge
London Bridge
was at Kingston . A bridge at Westminster
Westminster
was proposed in 1664, but opposed by the Corporation of London and the watermen. Despite further opposition in 1722, and after a new timber bridge was built at Putney in 1729, the scheme received parliamentary approval in 1736. Financed by private capital, lotteries and grants, Westminster
Westminster
Bridge was built between 1739–1750, under the supervision of the Swiss engineer Charles Labelye .

The City of London
City of London
responded to Westminster
Westminster
Bridge by removing the buildings on London Bridge
London Bridge
and widening it in 1760–63. The City also commenced work on the Blackfriars Bridge , which opened in 1769. Other bridges from that time include Kew Bridge (1759), Battersea Bridge (1773), and Richmond Bridge (1777).

The bridge was required for traffic from the expanding West End to the developing South London as well as to south coast ports. Without the bridge, traffic from the West End would have to negotiate the congested routes to London Bridge
London Bridge
such as the Strand and New Oxford Street. Roads south of the river were also improved, including the junction at the Elephant ">

The first Westminster
Westminster
Bridge as painted by Canaletto
Canaletto
, 1747 *

Westminster
Westminster
Bridge, around 1750. The proprietors of the bridge had to pay compensation to the operators of the earlier 'Horseferry', and to local watermen *

Map of 1897, showing Lambeth Palace , Lambeth Bridge , the Houses of Parliament and Westminster
Westminster
Bridge *

Westminster
Westminster
Huntley Ferry crosses the river on the site of the future Vauxhall Bridge *

The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons by J. M. W. Turner , 1835, with Westminster
Westminster
Bridge on the right *

Street lamps on the bridge

IN POPULAR CULTURE

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Westminster
Westminster
Bridge and surrounding landmarks at night Street artists on Westminster
Westminster
Bridge and London Eye
London Eye
in the background

In the 2002 British horror film 28 Days Later , the protagonist awakes from a coma to find London deserted and walks over an eerily empty Westminster
Westminster
Bridge whilst looking for signs of life.

Westminster
Westminster
Bridge is the start and finish point for the Bridges Handicap Race , a traditional London running race.

William Wordsworth wrote the sonnet Composed upon Westminster
Westminster
Bridge, September 3, 1802 .

In the finale of the 24th James Bond film Spectre , Blofeld 's helicopter crashes into Westminster
Westminster
Bridge.

REFERENCES

* ^ Becky Jones,Clare Lewis (2012). The Bumper Book of London: Everything You Need to Know About London and More... Frances Lincoln. p. 127. ISBN 978 1 781011 03 4 . * ^ Historic England . "Details from image database (204781)". Images of England . accessed 27 November 2008 * ^ Walker, R. J. B. (1979). Old Westminster
Westminster
Bridge: The Bridge of Fools. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 978-0715378373 . * ^ John Eade. "Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide". Thames.me.uk. Retrieved 28 November 2011. * ^ Thames Tideway Tunnel (September 2013). "Tunnel and Bridge Assessments: Central Zone: Westminster
Westminster
Bridge" (PDF). Thames Water Utilities. p. 4. Retrieved 13 May 2015. * ^ " Westminster
Westminster
Bridge British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-01. * ^ "London attack: What we know so far". BBC News. BBC. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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