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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
London's First Bridge
This is the location of probably the first Thames bridge.
Location: River Thames, Vauxhall
Description: This is the place of what historians consider might have been the first known London Bridge. There are wooden remains of a 3 metre wide structure just upstream of Vauxhall Bridge that can be seen only a few days each year when the tide is at it's very lowest. They have been dated to 3500 years ago in the Bronze Age - around 1500BC.
They were discovered in 1993 after erosion of the foreshore. Tony Robinson and Channel 4's Time Team spent 3 days investigating the site in April 2001.
They concluded that the structure was most probably a bridge to a gravel island in the middle of the river, although it might also have been a jetty. No gravel island exists, but it certainly looks like a bridge part way or even full way across the river here.
Also - two Bronze Age spearheads were found alongside the remains of the wooden structure, driven deep suggesting that they had been placed there deliberately. Perhaps this bridge or jetty formed a spiritual location to the settlers here.
Tagged in this Tour: The Bridges That Made London