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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tower Bridge

Like many others, I had mistaken the Tower Bridge for the London Bridge until we saw the sign below!

The London Bridge

This is the London Bridge, the one in the nursery rhyme. It's the next bridge downstream.

The 'London Bridge is falling down' Nursery Rhyme is based on the one of the most famous landmarks in London. It's history can be traced to the Roman occupation of England in the first century. The first London Bridge was made of wood and clay and was fortified or re-built with the various materials mentioned in the children's nursery rhyme. Many disasters struck the bridges - Viking invaders destroyed the bridge in the 1000's which led to a fortified design, complete with a drawbridge. Building materials changed due to the many fires that broke out on the bridge.

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Interestingly, it is also alleged by some that the song refers to the practice of bricking live children into the support of bridges as a sacrificial ritual to appease the water god. The theory is based around the idea that a bridge would collapse unless the body of a human sacrifice were buried in its foundations. However, there is no archaeological evidence for any human remains in the foundations of London Bridge.

And who's the 'my fair lady' in the song?

Several attempts have been made to identify the 'fair lady'of the rhyme. They include:

1. Matilda of Scotland (c. 1080–1118) Henry I's consort, who between 1110 and 1118 was responsible for the building of the series of bridges that carried the London-Colchester road across the River Lea and its side streams between Bow and Stratford.

2. Eleanor of Provence (c. 1223–91), consort of Henry III who had custody of the bridge revenues from 1269 to about 1281.

3. A member of the Leigh family of Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, who have a family tradition that a human sacrifice lies under the building.

source -

Crossing the River Thames on one of the most iconic landmarks in the world was an unforgettable experience.

Oblique views from the North Tower

1. In 1912, aviator Frank McLean was forced in an emergency to fly his small bi-plane between the bascule roadway and the high-level walkway.
2. In 1952, a London bus had to make a leap from one bascule to the other as the Bridge began to be raised owing to operator error.
3. Visiting U.S. President Bill Clinton's motorcade was forced to split in two in 1997 owing to the lifting of the bridge bascules

The Gherkin Building and Tower of London are seen beyond the trees


  1. I have always wondered about the London Bridge song!
    How exciting for you and your family to have seen it!

  2. Wow, that is some great information. I never really thought about the real London Bridge of the song. And the pictures of the Tower Bridge are wonderful.

    I would love for you to link up at tots and me

  3. That must've been an amazing trip! Haven't been there for a VERY long time!


  4. I never knew that about the song. It is a little on the dark side. Wonderful pictures.

  5. I love the history behind nursery rhymes! Ring Around the Rosy is one of the darkest ones.

    You really got some great photos!

  6. Ooo, love these photos and the history behind them--especially the bit about the nursery rhyme! :D

  7. Beautiful photos!! I would love to visit there one day!!

  8. Thanks for the virtual visit to the bridges! I probably would have mistaken the two as well!

  9. I love the photos of the Tower bridge.

  10. Beautiful!
    I hate that the "London Bridge" I always thought of is actually wrong... It looks better, so I will keep it that way, wrong or not! ha ha ha!!!! loving the photo's... I am travelling through you

  11. Great pics! I love London! I thought the Tower Bridge was London Bridge too when I first saw it because it's the prettier one. That nursery rhyme always gave me the creeps

  12. Love the photos. London is so lovely.
    Happy to have found you through Get Wired Wednesday.

  13. The old London Bridge is now in Arizona, USA. Interesting blog, thank you! I love the tower bridge! I am following you from “the perfect line.” Pls follow back. Growing Old With Grace

  14. Interesting photos and story behind the bridge. So often we listen to the rhymes but never bother to learn what they really mean… of course, I think ignorance is bliss.


  15. I haven't seen it up close but I know that the old London Bridge is in AZ. You took some great pictures!

  16. Is it just me or the Tower Bridge a lot prettier than the London Bridge? Why wasn't the song written for the Tower? (just asking!) Wow, the facts/information on the London Bridge was quite fascinating! I NEVER knew!!! Again, you never cease to amaze me on your info! Thank you, V.

  17. Wonderful information and awesome pictures. Your blog is always such a delight to read! Fascinating :)

  18. Great pics from London! I lived there for a year and still am "homesick". :-)