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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th October 1960 In Britain, News Chronicle and Daily Mail merge, and London Evening Star merges with Evening News
18th October 1950 Born today: Sheila White, London England, actress (I Claudius)
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