Reliques of Old London, 57. Text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Boston Public Library and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]. T. R. Way. Signed and dated 1899. Lithograph. Source:
Commentary by H. B. Wheatley from Reliques of Old London
Old Battersea Bridge (leading from Chelsea to Battersea), a rude timber structure of nineteen spans which took the place of a ferry, was for more than a century a great obstruction to the navigation of the river, and with old Putney Bridge, which was equally inconvenient and nearly half a century older, was long the terror of boating men.
The bridge was built in 1771-72, under an Act of Parliament obtained in 1766, at the expense of fifteen proprietors who subscribed £1,500 apiece, Mr. Holland being the designer.
The spans varied in width from 15 feet 6 inches to 32 feet, and when the bridge was acquired by the company which crefted the Albert Bridge in 1873, four of the original spans were thrown into two; one of the enlarged spans measured 75 feet 3 bches, and the other 70 feet. These openings will be noticed in the drawing.
The greatest width of road was 23 feet 9 inches, but in parts the carriage way was only about 16 feet. The footpath on the up river side was in places only 2 feet wide, and on the down river side from 4 feet to 5 feet wide. . . . The present bridge was ereded to the east of the old bridge. It is a cast-iron structure upon stone pillars, of five spans, the centre being 173 feet wide, and the width of the roadway is 40 feet. The cost of the bridge was £143,000.
Way, T. R., and H. B. Wheatley. Reliques of Old London upon the Banks of the Thames and in the Subburbs South of the River. London: George Bell and Sons, 1909. [title page] Internet Archive version of a copy in the Boston Public Library. Web. 22 April 2012.