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Posted by fairbankguy on 17th May 2016 in History | Tower Bridge,horace jones,bascule,london bridges,river thamesTower Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world, and behind its iconic structure lies an amazing story. In the late 19th century London had grown to a city of 6 million, with a third of them living in the East End. To cross the river was a real problem - it still is - with the building of a foot tunnel by the Tower of London wholly inadequate. To solve the problem a competition was launched to design a bridge that had a clearance of 9 metres, so masted ships could pass beneath it and reach the Pool of London . The winners were Sir Horace Jones (who happened to be on the selection committee) and Sir John Wolfe Barry, son of Sir Charle...
Posted by Guy Fairbank on 4th April 2020 in History | hammersmith,hammersmith bridge,bazalgette,river thames,boat race,sliding doors,closure,hammersmith bridge closureCurrently closed for 3 years, Hammersmith Bridge is one of London’s most attractive crossings. There’s been a bridge connecting Hammersmith and Barnes for nearly 200 years, and ever since the first one was opened in 1827 there have been complaints about its strength. With Hammersmith becoming an important agricultural and industrial part of west London there had been an increasing need to add more river crossings. With this in mind the authorities turned to local engineer William Tierney Clark, who’s best known for the Széchenyi Chain Bridge that spans the Danube in Budapest. Even at the start of the work, when the Duke of Sussex blessed the bridge,...
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Posted by Guy Fairbank on 16th December 2020 in History | richmond,surrey,henry vii,henry viii,elizabeth i,shene,sheen,tudorRichmond-upon-Thames is one of the best places to live in London. Its riverside walks, fine views, handsome houses and hidden lanes make it an attractive place to live - it’s why some of our best-loved actors choose to call it home. 500 years ago King Henry Vii thought so too, and had Richmond Palace built for himself and his young family. It had been a favourite home of royals before that, when it was originally known as Sheen Palace. In fact Edward iiI died there on 21 June 1377. When Anne of Bohemia, the much-loved wife of Edward’s grandson Richard ii died of the plague, Richard had it pulled down. It was later rebuilt by Henry V, then comple...