HUNGERFORD OR CHARING CROSS BRIDGE
The southern approach to Hungerford Bridge was formed across
the ground immediately south of the site of Lambeth Waterworks which
was purchased by the Hungerford and Lambeth Suspension Footbridge
Company from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1840. (ref. 116) The ground had
previously been occupied by George Smith, timber merchant. It was part of
Float Mead, shown as in the occupation of Mr. Lee in 1682, and described
in 1717 as a messuage, wharf and timber yard. (ref. 117)
The construction of the bridge had been authorized by an Act of
Parliament of 1836 (ref. 118) and amending Act of 1843 (ref. 119) with the intention of
bringing more custom to the newly rebuilt Hungerford Market. The bridge
was not, however, opened until 1st May, 1845. (fn. a)
It was designed by Sir Isambard K. Brunel. Four broad chains were
carried on two brick piers. The piers, which were in the Italian style, were
built in the river and formed a central and two side spans (Plate 5a).
Its existence here was very brief. In 1859 the Charing Cross Railway
Act (ref. 121) authorized the making of a railway to cross the Thames by a bridge at
or near the site of Charing Cross Bridge, and the removal of the suspension
bridge. The chains and ironwork of the old bridge were sold for £5,000, to
be used for the suspension bridge then in course of erection over the river
Avon at Clifton, near Bristol. The new railway bridge was begun in 1860
and opened early in 1864, provision being made at the side for pedestrian
traffic. (ref. 122)
A toll of a halfpenny payable at both ends of the bridge was charged
for foot passengers (ref. 120) until 1878. (ref. 123)
||It was an inauspicious beginning that the same numbers of the Illustrated London News which recorded the opening of Hungerford Suspension Bridge reported the collapse of the suspension bridge at Great Yarmouth.
||Church Commissioners: Deeds, 91141.
||Church Commissioners: Deeds, 90782, fol. 38.
||Public Act, 6 and 7 Wm. IV, cap. 133.
||Local Act, 6 and 7 Vic., cap. 19.
III. Lond. News.
||Public Act, 22 and 23 Vic., cap. 81.
||L.C.C., Bridges, 1914.
||Local Act, 40 and 41 Vic., cap. 99.