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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): CLA/022
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1553-1995
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 10 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

London Bridge is the oldest bridge in the City of London. A Roman structure existed in the same area and there were several Saxon versions in wood. The first stone bridge took 33 years to construct under the direction of priest Peter de Colechurch, finished in 1209. Bridge House Estates was established by Royal Charter in 1282 with responsibility for the maintenance of this Bridge.

In 1758 the houses and shops that lined the bridge were demolished to make it easier to cross, but problems with congestion only increased. In 1800 a committee was established to consider improvements to the bridge, but when it was discovered that tidal scouring had severely weakened the bridge's abutments, the decision was made to reconstruct. A granite bridge with five arches designed by John Rennie and his son Sir John Rennie was chosen and completed by 1831. The wider arches had the unforeseen consequence of allowing the tide further access inland and causing a problem with sewerage.

The 1831 bridge was unable to accommodate the increased traffic of the 20th century and was reconstructed in the 1960s, opening in 1973. The 1831 bridge was dismantled and shipped to Arizona where it was reconstructed over Lake Havasu.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Bridge House Estates relating to London Bridge, 1553-1995. Papers include deeds; sale notices; accounts, receipts and payments; warrant books; fund raising; proceedings for compensation; papers and accounts relating to the design and building of the 1831 bridge; acts and statutes concerning the bridge; committee reports and minutes; tidal observations and reports on the river Thames; correspondence; histories of the bridge; papers and brochures regarding the demolition and reconstruction of the bridge, 1967-1980; plans and photographs. Also papers relating to the sale of stonework from the 1831 Bridge to McCulloch Properties Incorporated for re-erection at Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For Corporation of London records relating to Bridges see: CLA/007: Bridge House Estates, CLA/018: Bridges, CLA/019: Southwark Bridge, CLA/020: Tower Bridge, CLA/021: Blackfriars Bridge, CLA/022: London Bridge, COL/CC/BBB: Court of Common Council Blackfriars Bridge (Building) Committee, COL/CC/BBR: Court of Common Council Blackfriars Bridge (Repairing) Committee, COL/CC/BHC: Court of Common Council Bridge House Committee, COL/CC/BHT: Court of Common Council Bridge House Trust Committee, COL/CC/CLBH: Court of Common Council City Lands and Bridge House Estate Committee, COL/CC/JTB: Court of Common Council Joint Bridge House Estates and Improvement Committee, COL/CC/JTS: Joint Bridge House and Special Committee, COL/CC/CLA: Court of Common Council City of London (Arizona) Corporation, COL/CC/LBA: Court of Common Council London Bridge Approaches Committee, COL/CC/LBC: Court of Common Council London Bridge Committee, COL/CC/LBI: London Bridge Improvements Committee, COL/CC/SBC: Court of Common Council Special Bridge or Subway Committee, COL/CCS/PL: Comptroller and City Solicitor: Plans, COL/PL: Plans, COL/PLD/PL: Planning Department Plans, COL/SVD/PL: Surveyor's Department Plans, COL/TSD/PL: Technical Services Department Plans, COL/CHD/CM: Chamberlain's Department: Chamber Accounts.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2009

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