Hammersmith BridgeHammersmith Bridge is a crossing of the River Thames in west London, and lies just south of the Hammersmith town centre area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on the north side of the river. It allows road traffic and pedestrians to cross to Barnes (in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames) on the south side of the river.
The current bridge is the second permanent bridge on the site. The construction of a bridge was first sanctioned by an Act of Parliament in 1824 and work on site began the following year. It was the Thames’ first suspension bridge and was designed by William Tierney Clark. It was a toll bridge with toll booths at either end; inbetween a timber deck some 30ft wide was supported by metal chains strung from two masonry towers. Plans for its replacement began to be made during the 1870s, during which time a temporary bridge allowed a more limited cross-river traffic.
The current suspension bridge was designed by noted civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette ands rests on the same pier foundations constructed for Tierney Clark’s structure. It was opened by the Prince of Wales on 11 June 1887. With much of the supporting structure built of wrought iron, it is 700ft long and 43ft wide and cost £82,117 to build.
In June 2000, the bridge was damaged by a terrorist bomb, but after closure for repairs was reopened – albeit with weight restrictions in place. It is a famous landmark and a good vantage point from which to watch the annual University Boat Race.