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Kingston Bridge, London

Kingston Bridge, London

Overview
Kingston Bridge is a road bridge at Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames is the principal settlement of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in southwest London. It was the ancient market town where Saxon kings were crowned and is now a suburb situated south west of Charing Cross. It is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England, carrying the A308
A308 road
The A308, is a road in England in two parts.*The Brompton to Fulham section starts at the A4 road by Brompton Oratory and Victoria and Albert Museum, and follows Fulham Road South West to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where it jumps south a block to follow Kings Road to meet the A219 road in...

 across the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

. It joins the town centre of Kingston in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is a borough in southwest London, England. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, New Malden and Tolworth. It is the oldest of the three Royal Boroughs in England, the others are Kensington and Chelsea, also in London,...

, to Hampton Court Park
Hampton Court Park
Hampton Court Park – sometimes called the Home Park – is adjacent to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens in southwest London, United Kingdom....

, Bushy Park
Bushy Park
- External links :***...

, and the village of Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick is a Thames-side area, formerly a village, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in London, England.Famous for its market gardens until well into the twentieth century, it is now commuter-belt territory, housing developments having been built on these areas...

 in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is a London borough in South West London, UK, which forms part of Outer London. It is unique because it is the only London borough situated both north and south of the River Thames.-Settlement:...

. , it carries approximately 50,000 vehicles per day with up to 2,000 vehicles per hour in each direction during peak times.

Kingston Bridge is on the reach above Teddington Lock
Teddington Lock
Teddington Lock is a complex of three locks and a weir on the River Thames in England at Ham in the western suburbs of London. The lock is on the southern Surrey side of the river....

 and close to and downstream of the mouth of the Hogsmill
Hogsmill
The Hogsmill River in Surrey is one of the tributaries of the River Thames; it rises in Ewell and flows into the Thames at Kingston upon Thames on the reach above Teddington Lock.-Course:...

 River, a minor tributary of the Thames.
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Encyclopedia
Kingston Bridge is a road bridge at Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames is the principal settlement of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in southwest London. It was the ancient market town where Saxon kings were crowned and is now a suburb situated south west of Charing Cross. It is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England, carrying the A308
A308 road
The A308, is a road in England in two parts.*The Brompton to Fulham section starts at the A4 road by Brompton Oratory and Victoria and Albert Museum, and follows Fulham Road South West to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where it jumps south a block to follow Kings Road to meet the A219 road in...

 across the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

. It joins the town centre of Kingston in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is a borough in southwest London, England. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, New Malden and Tolworth. It is the oldest of the three Royal Boroughs in England, the others are Kensington and Chelsea, also in London,...

, to Hampton Court Park
Hampton Court Park
Hampton Court Park – sometimes called the Home Park – is adjacent to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens in southwest London, United Kingdom....

, Bushy Park
Bushy Park
- External links :***...

, and the village of Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick is a Thames-side area, formerly a village, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in London, England.Famous for its market gardens until well into the twentieth century, it is now commuter-belt territory, housing developments having been built on these areas...

 in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is a London borough in South West London, UK, which forms part of Outer London. It is unique because it is the only London borough situated both north and south of the River Thames.-Settlement:...

. , it carries approximately 50,000 vehicles per day with up to 2,000 vehicles per hour in each direction during peak times.

Kingston Bridge is on the reach above Teddington Lock
Teddington Lock
Teddington Lock is a complex of three locks and a weir on the River Thames in England at Ham in the western suburbs of London. The lock is on the southern Surrey side of the river....

 and close to and downstream of the mouth of the Hogsmill
Hogsmill
The Hogsmill River in Surrey is one of the tributaries of the River Thames; it rises in Ewell and flows into the Thames at Kingston upon Thames on the reach above Teddington Lock.-Course:...

 River, a minor tributary of the Thames. It is on the route of the Thames Path
Thames Path
The Thames Path is a National Trail, opened in 1996, following the length of the River Thames from its source near Kemble in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier at Charlton. It is about long....

 and is the end point for the Thames Down Link
Thames Down Link
The Thames Down Link is a official walking route linking the Thames Path and the North Downs Way. It starts at Kingston upon Thames and finishes at Box Hill & Westhumble railway station.-See also:*Long-distance footpaths in the UK*Thames Path...

 long distance footpath from Box Hill station.

History


Kingston Bridge was the only crossing of the river between London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

 and Staines Bridge
Staines Bridge
Staines Bridge is a road bridge running in a south-west to north-east direction across the River Thames in Surrey. It is on the modern A308 road and links the boroughs of Spelthorne and Runnymede at Staines and Egham Hythe....

 until Putney Bridge
Putney Bridge
Putney Bridge is a bridge crossing of the River Thames in west London, linking Putney on the south side with Fulham to the north. Putney Bridge tube station is located near the north side of the bridge.-History:...

 was opened in 1729. This contributed greatly to Kingston's success as a medieval market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

. According to John Leland, writing in under the Tudors there was a bridge in Saxon times. He wrote "And yn the old tyme the commune saying ys that the bridge where the commun passage was over the Tamise was lower on the ryver then it is now. And when men began the new town in the Saxons tymes they toke from the very clive of Comeparke (cliff of Coombe Park) side to build on the Tamise side; and sette a new bridge hard by the same." Leland refers to a contemporary bridge and there is evidence that a wooden
Lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

 bridge had existed at Kingston since the 13th century. This was downstream of the present bridge where Old Bridge Street at Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick is a Thames-side area, formerly a village, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in London, England.Famous for its market gardens until well into the twentieth century, it is now commuter-belt territory, housing developments having been built on these areas...

 was matched by an Old Bridge Street on the Kingston side - the former Saxon bridge being further downstream.

As a crucial link between Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

 and Middlesex
Middlesex
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

, the mediaeval timber bridge was susceptible to destruction during civil conflict as happened during the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

 and Wyatt's rebellion
Wyatt's rebellion
Wyatt's Rebellion was a popular uprising in England in 1554, named after Thomas Wyatt the younger, one of its leaders. The rebellion arose out of concern over Queen Mary I's determination to marry Philip II of Spain, which was an unpopular policy with the English...

. There are records of tolls being granted for a number of years to pay for repairs to the bridge, but in 1567, Robert Hamond made it a free bridge for ever. However in spite of his endowments it appears by the 18th century some tolls had been reimposed. The bridge was described in 1710 "The great Wooden Bridge hath 20 interstices: two in the middle wide enough for barges...it had 22 pierres of Wood and had in the middle two fair Seates for Passengers to avoid Carts and to sit and enjoy the delightfull Prospect".


In 1825 Kingston Corporation
Municipal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames was a local government district in north east Surrey, England from 1835 to 1965 around the town of Kingston upon Thames. It was alternatively known as Kingston on Thames. It was a municipal borough and also held the rarer status of Royal borough...

 notified the City of London Corporation Navigation Committee that it intended to build a new bridge. The corporation planned to erect a cast-iron bridge, and an architectural competition was held with a prize of 100 guineas. The winner was John Burges Watson, with a design for a bridge of three equal arches. However, concerns over the rising cost of iron led to the abandonment of the scheme, and it was decided instead to build a stone bridge in the classical style to a design by Edward Lapidge, the County surveyor. The first stone was laid by the Earl of Liverpool
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool KG PC was a British politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Union with Ireland in 1801. He was 42 years old when he became premier in 1812 which made him younger than all of his successors to date...

 at a ceremony on 7 November 1825. and the bridge was opened by the Duchess of Clarence
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and of Hanover as spouse of William IV of the United Kingdom. Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after her.-Early life:Adelaide was born on 13 August 1792 at Meiningen, Thuringia, Germany...

, on July 17, 1828.

The new bridge, about 100 feet upstream from its predecessor, was built of Portland stone
Portland stone
Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries consist of beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major...

 with five elliptical arches, the centre arch being a 60 foot span by 19 feet in height, and the side arches 56 feet and 52 feet spans respectively. The abutment
Abutment
An abutment is, generally, the point where two structures or objects meet. This word comes from the verb abut, which means adjoin or having common boundary. An abutment is an engineering term that describes a structure located at the ends of a bridge, where the bridge slab adjoins the approaching...

s were terminated by towers or bastion
Bastion
A bastion, or a bulwark, is a structure projecting outward from the main enclosure of a fortification, situated in both corners of a straight wall , facilitating active defence against assaulting troops...

s, and the whole surmounted by a cornice
Cornice
Cornice molding is generally any horizontal decorative molding that crowns any building or furniture element: the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the edge of a pedestal. A simple cornice may be formed just with a crown molding.The function of the projecting...

 and balustrade, with galleries projecting over the pier; which gave a bold relief to the general elevation. The length of the bridge was 382 feet by 27 feet in width. The building contract was undertaken by Herbert for £26,800, and the extra work did not exceed £100, a very rare occurrence in either public or private undertakings of that description at the time.

The bridge became free from tolls in 1870, and celebrations including a fireworks show were followed a few days later with the burning of the toll gates on Hampton Green. It was widened between 1912 and 1914 with the carriageway increased from 25 feet to 55 feet. A new facade of Portland stone was designed to replicate the features of the original. The bridge was widened again in 2000 to include two bicycle lanes, larger pavements and a bus lane.

The bridge was given protection as a Grade II* listed structure in 1951.