Above: Looking north at Lambeth Bridge from the Albert Embankment at Vauxhall.
Lambeth Bridge replaced the old Horse Ferry that plied between shores on the Thames at Lambeth and Westminster. It has a separate page on this Website.
See also – Horse Ferry, Lambeth
The first Lambeth Bridge was erected in 1861-62 on the site of the Horse Ferry, Lambeth, as a toll bridge. It was designed as a stiffened suspension bridge by Peter Barlow with three equal iron spans supported by cables which passed over two towers built on piers.
The bridge was acquired in 1877 by the Metropolitan Board of Works. In 1879 it was made free of tolls – along with other bridges crossing the Thames.
By 1887 the bridge was in a poor condition and a weight limit of three tons was set. By 1905 the speed of traffic was limited to walking pace and by 1910 it was closed entirely to traffic and remained in use only as a footbridge.
In 1929 the old bridge was pulled down and a new one of steel was built 1929-32 a little further south of the first which meant that Lambeth Road had to be diverted away from the church to meet it. The engineer was Sir George Humphreys and the architect was Sir Reginald Blomfield. On the western end of the bridge, a stone plaque states that the bridge was constructed in “1929-32 by Dorman Long and Co”. The new bridge was opened in July 1932 by George V and Queen Mary.
Today’s Lambeth Bridge is the second bridge to be built on the site, it is a five-span arch structure, made of steel circular arch ribs. The length is 776 feet (237 m) between the abutments. It is 60 feet (18 m) wide between the parapets.
See also – Lambeth Bridge – Pineapple Pillars