Barnes Bridge, Barnes, London
The original 3-span cast-iron Barnes Bridge (which was upstream from the current bridge) dates from the opening of the Hounslow Loop train line in 1849. In 1895 it was replaced by the current, far more solid, structure. Designed by Edward Andrews for the London and South Western Railway Company, its heavy wrought-iron bow-string girders carry two railway tracks across the river and there is also a pedestrian walkway alongside. It has been called “the ugliest bridge over the Thames”, but the locals love it. It was re-painted recently in two shades of grey similar to the original 1849 bridge, which has considerably improved its appearance. The bridge was listed as a Grade II structure in 1983.
Looking west down the Thames from Hammersmith there are sometimes beautiful sunsets, which show the bridge at its best!
There is a lot more historical and technical information about Barnes Bridge in this Wikipedia article.
Barnes Bridge and The Boat Race
The bridge has become a recognisable landmark on the Thames and is commonly referenced during the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (from Putney to Mortlake, passing under the bridge. It has been suggested that whichever crew is ahead when they reach this point will go on to win the race.
In recognition of its association with the boat race, the coat of arms on the bridge includes a light blue oar (for Cambridge University) and a dark blue oar (for Oxford). The railway company used to sell tickets to spectators for access to the bridge to watch the race, but in recent years, it has been intentionally closed to pedestrians during the boat race on the grounds of public safety.
The picture shows Oxford crew going under Barnes Bridge in the 2011 race.
Physio on the River’s private physiotherapy clinic and exercise studio couldn’t be closer to Barnes Bridge – we are actually based in the Old Ticket Office right next to it!
Learn more about a much smaller bit of water in Barnes – Barnes pond!