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London Bridge

London Bridge

The first London Bridge was built by the Romans sometime after AD43 and some of its wooden remains have been uncovered on the north side of the river. The wooden structure was eventually replaced with a stone bridge that incorporated houses and shops to help pay for the upkeep of the bridge. The bridge we see today was opened in 1973.

D M Duggan Thacker, c.1886
© National Maritime Museum, London. Thacker Collection


Thames Tunnel

Thames Tunnel

The Thames Tunnel was opened in 1843 linking Rotherhithe to Wapping. It was designed by Marc Brunel and was the first engineering project his son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, worked on.

Unknown, c.1843
© National Maritime Museum, London


Woolwich free ferry

Woolwich free ferry

The Woolwich Free Ferry, operating between Woolwich and North Woolwich, was opened on 23 March 1889 by the London County Council. The inhabitants of the town had asked for a ferry to offset the cost that the town had contributed to building and maintaining bridges in the West End.

Unknown, 20th Century
© National Maritime Museum, London


Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge was completed in 1894, after eight years of construction. Originally, London Bridge was the only crossing over the Thames. By the late 19th century, when many bridges had been built west of London Bridge, public pressure mounted for a bridge to link the densely populated districts east of London Bridge and the City.

Unknown, 30 October 1932
© National Maritime Museum, London


Blackwall tunnel

Blackwall tunnel

The first bore of the tunnel was opened on 22 May 1897. At the time it was the longest underwater tunnel in the world. It links Blackwall Point in East Greenwich and East India Dock Road in Poplar. The cost of re-housing local residents, plus the building of the tunnel itself, the provision of lighting, and the purchase of the land, came to £1,400,000.

Unknown, 1895
© Newham Archives and Local Studies Library collection.



National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund