21 May 2010

Quirky London 9 of 20: London Bridge (rems of)

Where is it? The King's Arms, a pub at 65 Newcomen St, just off Borough, a bit south of London Bridge.

What's quirky about it? Its coat of arms is the only surviving bit of the original, medieval London Bridge, the one that was always falling down or burning up.

The arms come from the bridge's southern gatehouse, and were added on to the medieval bridge in the 1728. (Presumably that '1760 GIIIR' stuff is a later addition.) That bridge was replaced by a new one in the 19th century, which was in turn taken up brick by brick and shipped to Arizona, and replaced with the concrete bore we know and do not sing about today.

Why bike there? Borough Market; Southwark Cathedral; the bike-friendly and historical George Inn just down the road.

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  1. For anyone interested in exploring the history of the old London Bridge, the church of St Magnus the Martyr on the north side is worth a visit, despite its noisy location on Lower Thames Street. The northern approach to London Bridge went right past the west end of the church. In 1782 the road was widened and the footway alongside diverted to pass through the tower of the church. You can still walk through the open ground floor of the tower today. Inside, there's a large model, several yards long of, what old London Bridge was like.

  2. The field tincture of the second quarter should be azure. The Hanoverians laid claim to the French crown while there was one.