Hungerford Bridge

The first Hungerford Bridge which was opened to pedestrians in 1845 was an elegant suspension footbridge named after Sir Edward Hungerford who had built a fruit and vegetable market on the north bank of the river. The bridge was built in an effort to draw people from south of the river to the market. In 1860 the Charing Cross Railway Company bought both the bridge and the market, the latter being the site for the new Charing Cross station.

The wrought iron lattice girder Charing Cross Railway Bridge with six river spans and four lines of track was opened in 1864. A footway was cantilevered each side and staircases were cut into the piers to allow access to the steamboat quays that had been built on the piers below. Between 1882 and 1888 the bridge was widened on the upstream side by widening the existing piers and adding a further row. The footway that side was not replaced. In 1979 all the iron on the bridge was replaced with steel.

In 1996 a competition was held to find a design for new footbridges. The competition was won by Lifschutz Davidson whose bridges were built and officially opened in 2003. Each footbridge consists of a concrete deck attached by steel cables to a number of leaning suspension masts. The footways are officially named the Golden Jubilee Bridges although that name is not often used.

Upstream view from the bridge.

Downstream view from the bridge.

A bundle of steel cables can be seen either side holding up one footway apiece.

On the upstream footbridge.

The railway between the two footways.

In the original footbridge pier, now under the railway bridge, the entrance to the stairway which would have led people from the quay to the bridge can still be seen.

On the way to the next bridge the beach huts of the Urban Beach.

The sandy part of the Urban Beach.

Ann Voysey