Victorian London - Thames - Bridges - Hungerford Suspension Bridge

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from The Illustrated London News, 1842

   The weekly report of this splendid spec. was read yesterday in the presence of the proprietors, and the whole of the men employed upon the works, consisting of the three carpenters and the bricklayer's labourer.
   The report briefly stated that the water in front of the works continued to go on swimmingly, that the large piece of timber maintained its position so well and so so long, as to have become entitled to the appellation of "a venerable pile" in contradistinction to those which Father Thames had swept away in a most summary manner heretofore.

Punch, Jan.-Jun. 1843

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from The Illustrated London News, 1845

HUNGERFORD SUSPENSION BRIDGE, called also CHARING CROSS BRIDGE, crosses the Thames from Hungerford Market to Belvedere-road, Lambeth, and is for foot-passengers only. It was constructed under the direction of Mr. I.K. Brunel, and publicly opened Friday, April 18th, 1845. ... In November, 1845, the bridge was sold to the original proprietors for sum of 226,000l., but only the first instalment was paid, and the purchase was thus void. The toll charged is a halfpenny each person each way.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

Hungerford Suspension Bridge is re-constructed for the Charing Cross Company, and provides the London and South-Eastern (from London Bridge), and the London and South-Western Railways, with a West-End terminus at Charing Cross. (A bridge from the south side of the river is also nearly completed, connecting the South-Eastern Railway with their City terminus in Cannon Street.)

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865

HUNGERFORD SUSPENSION-BRIDGE, from Hungerford Market to Belvedere Road, Lambeth, was constructed by I. K. Brunel, F.R.S, and was a fine specimen of mechanical skill. It consisted of two lofty brick piers, or towers, in the Italian style, designed by Bunning, 58 feet above the road, and built in brickwork and cement on the natural bed of the river, without piles. In the upper part of these towers, four chains passed over rollers, so as to equalize the strain: they carried the platform or roadway, in two lines, with single suspension rods, 12 feet apart; the chains being secured in tunnels at the abutments to iron girders, embedded in brickwork and cement, and strengthened with concrete. There were three spans, the central one between the piers being 676 feet, or 110 feet wider than the Menai Bridge; and second only to the span of the wire suspension-bridge at Fribourg, which is nearly 900 feet. The length between the abutments of the Hungerford Bridge was 1352 feet. Time roadway was in the centre 32 feet above high-water mark, or 7 feet higher than the crown of the centre arch of Waterloo Bridge. The height above the piers was 28 feet. Thus was gained additional height fur the river traffic, and a graceful curve, with the appearance of swagging prevented. The Bridge was commenced in 1841, and was built without any scaffolding but a few ropes, consequently, without impediment to time navigation of the river. The iron-work, between 10,000 and 11,000 tons, was by Sandys and Co., Cornwall. The entire cost of the Bridge was 110,000l., raised by a public Company. The toll was a halfpenny each person each way. The Bridge was opened May 1, 1845, when, between noon and midnight, 86,254 persons passed over. Hungerford was then the great focus of the Thames steam-navigation, the embarkations and landings here exceeding 2,000,000 per annum. The Bridge was taken down in 1863, and the chains were carried to Clifton, for the Suspension-Bridge erecting there. Upon its site has been constructed the Bridge for the Charing Cross Extension of the South Eastern Railway: it has on each side a foot-path and ornamental balustrade; and in the centre four lines of rails, expanding fanwise into seven lines on approaching the Charing Cross terminus. The Bridge for carrying time Railway across the Thames to the City terminus, in Upper Thames-street, is similar to the Charing Cross Bridge, but 12 feet wider.

John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867

Victorian London - Thames - Description of the Thames - View of Hungerford Bridge (1883)

Thomas Crane & Ellen Houghton, London Town, 1883

see also A.R.Bennett in London and Londoners - click here