Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where is London Bridge Now?

Visiting the UK surely is a dream come true for most Historical Romance writers.
And when I visited the UK last year, one of my first experiences was discovering their bridges.

Excited to be on the famous Tower Bridge we went below to check out the engine room, where the huge steam engines are that operated the opening up of the bridge in the late 19th century.

Of course a lot of it went over my head, but Hubby was fascinated, him being a fitter and machinist and having done his apprenticeship working with steam engines and the like.
I was more intrigued when we trolled the many rooms and read that the original London Bridge is no longer in UK.   It is in the USA.
Surprised? .... Yeah I know ... so was I. And for some absolutely unprofound, absolutely paranoyic reason, this bothered me. I mean I'm not even British ... lol
Busy with traffic
in the 1900's

   After grilling one of the helpful attendants at the Bridge Museum for as much info as  they knew, I decided when I got home I would start digging about and this is more of what I found out.                                  
It seems that by 1962 the bridge was not sound enough for the increased traffic in London, so it was sold by the city of London and bought by Robert P. McCulloch.

                              The 1831 London bridge was dismantled in 1967 with each exterior granite block numbered for transportation to America. The face of these exterior blocks was sheared off and used to clad a concrete structure.
The bridge was completed in 1971 and links an island in the lake to the main part of Lake Havasu City. Arizona.

The Bridge as it is Today  in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

London Bridge on the River Thames about 1870
If you want to know more interesting facts about this famous bridge popover and read another post on the London Bridge at this site:
  Hoydens and Firebrands

Thanks to the staff at London Bridge and further info collected from Wikipedia:
Information on the relocation of London Bridge.


Allison Butler said...

Hi Maryde,

Thanks for a fabulous post. I had no idea the original bridge had been sold and can't help thinking, what sort of person buys used bridges and why? Any idea how much it cost Robert P. McCulloch? Truly fascinating:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison,
I'm with you. The things people buy LOL
He bought it to bring buyers (and as a tourist attraction -which it is) to the new town they were developing.

I just did some more digging. And he was R P McCulloch of McCulloch Chainsaws.

>>>>When casting his bid for the bridge, McCulloch doubled the estimated cost of dismantling the structure, which was US$1.2 million, bringing the price to US$2.4 million. He then added on US$60,000, a thousand dollars for each year of his age at the time he estimated the bridge would be raised in Arizona. His gesture earned him the winning bid, although there was very little competition.>>>>>>

Allison Butler said...

Ahh! Thanks for digging a little deeper, Maryde.

I mentioned your post to my husband and while he also didn't know the original bridge was now in the US, he recognized the McCulloch name. Most likely due to owning a McCulloch chainsaw:)

Cheryl Leigh said...

Thanks for the interesting post, Maryde. I knew the bridge wasn't the original one but didn't know the history behind it. Thanks for enlightening us. :)