The Works of New London Bridge by Edward William Cooke RA,
A hand-coloured engraving by George Cooke of a drawing by his son Edward William Cooke RA, from 'The Works of New London Bridge'.
In 1800 it was first proposed that the inconvenient medieval bulk of old London bridge should be removed to ease traffic on the Thames and a competition was held to design a replacement. In 1824, the plans of the engineer Sir John Rennie were accepted and a site was chosen 180 feet west of the old bridge. On June 15, 1825, the Lord Mayor of London, John Garratt, laid the first block of Dartmoor granite in the presence of the Duke of York. For a short time Londoners were able to view both the old bridge and the new side-by-side. It was to be a structure of 5 arches, over 928 feet long and 49 feet wide. When the new bridge was finished and opened by King William and Queen Adelaide in 1831, traffic switched to the huge new structure and the demolition commenced on the old bridge.
Edward William Cooke (1811 - 1880) was a draughtsman, illustrator, wood engraver, etcher and painter of rural and coastal scenes in oil and watercolour. In this print Cooke shows new London bridge in the middle stages of construction with the forms for the arches still in place. On the far bank of the Thames the viewer can see the Fishmongers Hall, the steeple of St Magnus the Matryr church and The Monument.
Engraving by George Cooke of a drawing by Edward William Cooke RA