A new bridge is being built over the River Thames, near where I live in Walton. This will be the first new road bridge over the Thames in 20 years
History of Walton Bridge (from the Surrey County Council Website)
There was a ferry at Walton from the 15th century until 1750 when the first bridge was built. There is a record of a petition to Charles 2nd by Sir William Boreman asking for a patent for a public ferry at Walton to carry “horse, cart or coach”.
The ferries were considered unreliable and dangerous, and the ferrymen themselves were thought of as an unsavoury bunch who would cheat and even rob their passengers, so it is not surprising that eventually a bridge was built.
There have been five Walton Bridges so far. You may click on the links below to find out more about each of the bridges.
- c1400 to 1750– Ferry
- 1750 to 1783 – The First Bridge– Wooden lattice 3 arch structure on stone piers
- 1783 to 1788– Ferry
- 1788 to 1859 – The Second Bridge– Brick and stone arch structure
- 1859 to 1864– Ferry
- 1864 to 1985 – The Third Bridge– Lattice girder bridge on brick and stone pier
- 1953 to date – The Fourth Bridge– This bridge is used by pedestrians and cyclists
The fourth bridge was built by Middlesex County Council in 1953 immediately alongside the Old Walton Bridge. It is a proprietary ‘Callender Hamilton’ bridge, intended to be put up quickly as a temporary measure
- 1999 to date – The Fifth Bridge – This bridge is currently used by vehicles
This ‘temporary bridge is now 15 years old, and long overdue replacement! On 29 December 2010 the Government announced full funding approval for the scheme, and the advance works for the project commenced on 31 January 2011 with the main construction work following on in January 2012.
I have been watching the construction of the new bridge with great interest, and taking photographs whenever the light has been good. I am not alone in my interest, there are many of us who watch it’s construction with interest, and can be found along the banks of the Thames watching the cranes at work, especially on a sunny day. There is even a Webcam where you can watch the progress live! My parents can check our weather by clicking on the webcam, even though they live in Ireland. The first thing they did the last time they came over to visit us was go & visit the new bridge!
I will post more photos of the bridge as it nears completion 🙂
More websites with information about the bridge & paintings of previous bridges
This week’s Travel Theme is Bridges