Essential Architecture-  London

Blackfriars Railway Bridge


John Wolfe-Barry and Henri Marc Brunel


over the Thames, London




Victorian Industrial


wrought iron


  Blackfriars Railway Bridge, with the remains of the old bridge in the foreground
  Blackfriars Railway Bridge. The Millennium pedestrian bridge is in the foreground
  Painting- Image copyright Doug Myers.
  Supporting piers of the 1864 Blackfriars Railway bridge in December 1985. By the mid 20th century the bridge was considered too weak to carry modern trains and it was taken out of use; the decking was removed in 1984.
Blackfriars Railway Bridge is a railway bridge crossing the River Thames in London, between Blackfriars Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

There have been two structures with the name. The first bridge was opened in 1864 and was designed by Joseph Cubitt for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. Massive abutments at each end carried the railway's insignia, preserved and splendidly restored on the south side. Following the formation of the Southern Railway in 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.

The second bridge, built slightly further downstream (to the east), was originally called St Paul's Railway Bridge and opened in 1886. It was designed by John Wolfe-Barry and Henri Marc Brunel and is made of wrought iron. When St Paul's railway station changed its name to Blackfriars in 1937 the bridge changed its name as well.

At the southern end of the bridge was Blackfriars Bridge railway station which opened in 1864 before closing to passengers in 1885 following the opening of what is today the main Blackfriars station. Blackfriars Bridge railway station continued as a goods stop until 1964 when it was completely demolished, and much of it redeveloped into offices.

As part of the Thameslink 2000 programme, the platforms at Blackfriars station will be extended across the Thames.