Old London Bridge




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A view of London Bridge circa 1600


From a photo-chromolithograph made for the New Shakspere Society, from a drawing in Pepys' Collection at Magdalene College, Cambridge. This is reputed to be the earliest genuine view of London Bridge.




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For a more detailed view of each part of the bridge, click on one of the parts above for whichever section you wish to magnify.


The bridge was built from 1176 to 1209. The Middlesex side is on the left, the Surrey side on the right. For a long period it was the only bridge across the Thames in London. On the Surrey side heads of traitors were stuck on poles above Southwark tower, and may be seen in the drawing. Parts of the bridge were continually collapsing, due to inadequate maintenance. Revenues for its upkeep, derived from toll charges, rents etc., were usually appropriated for other more frivolous purposes, or for general government expenses. Henry III is reputed to have given all the revenues to his wife to spend as she pleased. In the fourteenth century five arches fell into the river after a particularly hard winter. The bridge was finally abandoned by the Victorians, being deemed beyond economic repair, and was replaced by the modern London Bridge.





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General notes

Sonnets 1 - 50

Sonnets 51 - 100

Sonnets 101 - 154



Section 1     Section 3
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    Section 5



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