Lambeth Bridge toned down the color schemes a bit by using only two main colors, compared to the three or more colors found on the Vauxhall and Albert bridges (see June 20 and June 16 posts). Also, the character of the area surrounding Lambeth Bridge changed from that surrounding the bridges I crossed previously. There was much more of the older, classic London around Lambeth Bridge. The southern shore combines the old and new. On the left, looking from the bridge is the historic Lambeth Palace, the site of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s London residence since the 13th century. (This accounts for the building’s religious appearance. I had assumed when seeing it in person that it was some kind of church, so when I looked it up from the comfort of home and saw it was a palace I was initially disappointed at my error.) To the right across the street from the Palace, is a sleek, modern, glass building housing the Parliament View Apartments. In retrospect, I regret not taking a picture that includes both the Palace and the apartments in one frame.
The views up- and down-river from the bridge correspond to the sites at the southern end of the bridge. Downriver, the side corresponding to the old Lambeth Palace, the view is dominated by old London architecture particularly the Houses of Parliament. At the same time the upriver view is dominated by newer architecture, like the Parliament View Apartments upriver from Lambeth Palace.
I would like to add a correction to my post on the Battersea Bridge where I identified the tower under construction, also visible in the Lambeth Bridge upriver photo above, as the Shard. In the Battersea Bridge post, I identified the building as the Shard because it was the only tower under construction in London on which I could find any information on. Also, one of the photos labeled as the Shard looked similar to this building. However the Shard is closer to central London. Today I learned that the complex next to the tower is the St Georges Wharf Apartments, which are rented by the night. Based on the style of architecture of these buildings and the tower and their proximity to each other, I have a suspicion that they are related. It would probably be a good thing if the tower was an expansion of the apartments because the current apartments are completely booked. Out of curiosity, I searched multiple dates between now and June 2013; none of them had any availability.
The Battersea Bridge was the first bridge in London that I walked across. The bridge, built in 1890, connects the London neighborhoods of Kensington & Chelsea (north of the river) and Wandsworth (south of the river). The north side had traditional, classic architecture, but the south side had some newer developments. From the bridge looking west, I saw a bridge for the tube and several modern developments. To the east, I saw the Albert Bridge, the Battersea Power Station, and the Shard tower then under construction.
I enjoyed this bridge. I appreciated its simple, yet stately design. The traffic was low, though this might have had more to do with the time of day (Sunday afternoon) than any other factor. There were two sights near the bridge that particularly caught my attention. The first was a statue of Sir Thomas More on the north side, with gilded face and hands, a style not familiar to me. The second was a seemingly random statue of a flying goose just off the south end of the bridge.
The name of Battersea intrigued me, so I did a Google search to try and find the origin of the name. The result was that there is no known origin. The possibilities included an Anglo-Saxon term meaning Badric’s Island, battles that were fought in the river at low tide when the river was fordable, and an evolution of spellings from a term meaning St Peter’s water or river.
When I arrived in London this spring and saw the bridges over the river Thames, I decided I had to walk them all as I have the goal of walking all the bridges in Pittsburgh and this was my one opportunity for doing the same in London. I did succeed in walking all thirteen of the pedestrian friendly bridges on my map of London in the few days I was there. I believe there may be two more bridges to the west which I should have crossed in order to be able to say I walked all the Thames bridges in Inner London, but due to the bend in the river and the limitations of my map I did not know of their existence until coming home. While walking the bridges I got a wide variety of views of London, some of which I would have missed otherwise, aided by London’s excellent river walkways. Over the next few weeks, look for posts describing my experiences and observations of the thirteen Thames bridges: Battersea Bridge, Albert Bridge, Chelsea Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Jubilee Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge, London Bridge, and Tower Bridge.