PortCities London

Freak weather and the port

The Thames frost fairs

Old London Bridge

Old London Bridge, with river craft and warehouses.
View full size imageOld London Bridge with river craft and warehouses, by Edward William Cooke.    © NMM

Although there were many cold winters in the past, the Thames froze over only because of the old London Bridge.

Completed in 1176, this was the first stone bridge across the Thames in London. Its 19 narrow arches slowed the flow of the river and made it more likely that the water could freeze during long and severe winters. The river froze over here more than 20 times up to 1814.

The first 'frost fair' 

King Charles II.
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