Blackfriars Railway Bridge London, River Thames Architecture, Images, News, Design

Blackfriars Railway Bridge, London

Key Building along the River Thames design by Jacobs and Tony Gee & Partners

28 Apr 2013

Blackfriars Railway Bridge

Blackfriars Railway Bridge Redevelopment

Date built in 1886 ; redeveloped 2012

Redevelopment Design: Jacobs and Tony Gee & Partners

Blackfriars Bridge London
photo © Adrian Welch

The first bridge was opened in 1864 and was designed by Joseph Cubitt

After 1924, inter-city and continental services were concentrated on Waterloo, and St Paul’s Station became a local and suburban stop.

For this reason, the use of the original bridge gradually declined. It eventually became too weak to support modern trains, and was therefore removed in 1985 – all that remains is a series of columns crossing the Thames and the southern abutment, which is a Grade II listed structure
The second bridge is built slightly further downstream and made of wrought iron.

As part of the Thameslink Programme, the platforms at Blackfriars station were extended across the Thames and partially supported by the 1864 bridge piers. The project was designed by Jacobs and Tony Gee & Partners.

Blackfriars Railway Bridge has the first train platform on the Thames.

Work on the bridge also includes the installation of a roof covered with photovoltiac solar panels. When completed it will be the largest of only two solar bridges in the world (the other being Kurilpa Bridge in Australia). Other green improvements include sun pipes and systems to collect rain water.

Blackfriars Bridge
road and foot traffic bridge

The north end is near the Inns of Court and Temple Church, along with Blackfriars station

– on the piers of the bridge are stone carvings of water birds
– East side (closest to North Sea), the carvings show marine life and seabirds
– West side show freshwater birds – reflecting the role of Blackfriars as the tidal turning point.

The bridge became internationally notorious in June 1982, when the body of Roberto Calvi, a former chairman of Italy’s largest private bank, was found hanging from one of its arches with five bricks and around $14,000 in three different currencies in his pockets. Calvi’s death was initially treated as suicide, but he was on the run from Italy accused of embezzlement and in 2002 forensic experts concluded that he had been murdered by the Mafia, to whom he was indebted. In 2005, five suspected members of the Mafia were tried Rome.

Location: London, England, UK

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