London Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are no visible remains

NameLondon Bridge
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLondon and Middlesex
Modern AuthorityCity and County of the City of London
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishCity Of London

Stow describes two towers, one at each end of London Bridge. The first was north of the draw bridge and was built in 1426 and was taken down, because of decay, in 1577. The heads of traitors there displayed being removed and redisplayed on the southern tower. The second tower, at the southern, Southwark, end of the bridge collapsed in Jan 1347 and it's replacement was burnt by Kent sailors in 1471, in a revolt led by 'Bastard' Falconbridge, although it continued in use after this.

Two Gothic towers—not uniform in plan, however—defended the southern end of the original bridge, and also of the second. (Walford)

The first stone bridge was built in 1176 by Peter de Colechurch. It had 19 arches and a gatehouse with drawbridge at the Southwark end. From 1305, the heads of traitors were displayed on the gatehouse portico. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

A significant part of the defences of London and important symbolic buildings.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ327804
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 173
  • Watson, B., Brigham, T., and Dyson, T., 2001, London Bridge 2000 years of a river crossing (London: Museum of London Archaeology Service monograph 8)
  • Lobel, M.D. (ed), 1989, The City of London from prehistoric times to c.1520 British Atlas of Historic Towns Vol. 3 (Oxford University Press) p. 79 online copy
  • Weinreb, Ben and Hibbert, Christopher (eds), 1983 (rev edn 1993), The London Encyclopeadia (Macmillian) p. 468-9
  • Home, G., 1931, Old London Bridge (London: John Lane)
  • Walford, Edward, 1878, Old and New London Vol. 6 p. 8- online transcription


  • Stype, John, 1720, A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster Vol. 1 p. 59 online copy
  • Kingsford, C.L. (ed), 1908, A Survey of London, by John Stow: Reprinted from the text of 1603 Vol. 1 p. 5-10 online copy
  • Anthony van den Wyngaerde, c. 1543, Panorama of London online copy
  • Agas, c. 1558, map of London


  • Harrison, D., McKeague, P. and Watson, B., 2010, 'England's fortified medieval bridges and bridge chapels: a new survey' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 25 p. 45-51 online copy
  • Watson, B., 1999, 'Medieval London Bridge and its role in the defence of the realm' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol. 50 p. 17–22 online copy
  • Pearson, M.B., 1922, 'Old London Bridge' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol. 4 p. 390-402 download copy


  • Bruce Watson, 2013 Sept, Gazetteer of fortified bridges (working list kindly shared with Gatehouse)