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Waterloo Bridge

Old Waterloo Bridge from the South Bank, by W.L. Wyllie.
View full size imageOld Waterloo Bridge from the South Bank, by W.L. Wyllie. © NMM
This was the first bridge in London to be completed by John Rennie, the great civil engineer responsible for the West India Docks. Rennie had intended to build a bridge at Vauxhall in 1811, but his design was rejected as too expensive.

It was to be called the Strand Bridge, after the nearby main road. In 1816, a year before its completion, it was renamed to commemorate the Anglo-Prussian victory over Napoleon at Waterloo. Opened in 1817, it charged tolls until 1878.

After subsidence in the 1920s, the bridge was finally demolished in 1936, and replaced by the present functional structure, built between 1937-42.