The Amazing Secret on Vauxhall Bridge
Thousands of commuters cross it everyday, but I’ll bet nearly all of them have no idea what they’re missing. So what is this amazing secret on Vauxhall Bridge?
It’s not the first
The current bridge opened in 1906, designed in a joint effort by Sir Alexander Binnie and Maurice Fitzmaurice, built by London County Council (LCC) engineers. You may not realise however, that it replaced a former bridge built on the same spot between 1809 and 1816.
It was also the first bridge to carry tram traffic (probably pulled by horses at the time).
But what’s really interesting are the things you can’t see when you travel across it be that via car, foot, bike or bus…
Attached to the bridge’s piers are eight colossal (they’re twice life size) statues of allegorical figures. Designed by two artists F.W. Pomeroy and Alfred Drury, they took four each with Pomeroy completing the ones up stream (Agriculture, Architecture, Engineering and Pottery) and Drury down stream (Education, Fine Arts, Science and – weirdly – Local Government, well it was supported by the LCC).
but the best part is…
You can See St Paul’s! (Kind of)
The second figure up stream (if you’re travelling from North to South) is Architecture and what better building is there for her to hold than St Paul’s Cathedral, the symbol of London itself?
Here’s a close-up:
So there you go.
I bet you never thought you could see St Paul’s from Vauxhall Bridge. But you can! (if you’re willing to dangle your phone/camera/self over the side of the bridge. Don’t try this at home!)
I find your website very interesting, thanks for all the London tips!
Thanks Giuseppe! Glad to be of service. From the name I’m guessing Italian? If so, I’m a big fan of Italy too 🙂
You can see them from the Thames Clipper. They are surprisingly imposing
Yes the River is probably the best way to view them!
I lived in Pimlico for many years and never really bothered to study the figures that closely. Nice one Katie! Oh, and I crossed the bridge yesterday on the way to Tate Britain 🙂
Thanks Danny! Glad you liked the post and always great when you find something new on your local patch!
Thanks for sharing some wonderful knowledge ~ I will be sure to check this out (& I love hidden & unseen stuff like this !} ThxXx again
You’re so welcome Liz, thankfully London is full of tidbits like this (and I’m always on the hunt for them!) X
I knew about the figures and have taken pictures of them but what I’ve been wondering is: why is one of them holding a tiny St. Paul’s cathedral? Do you have an ideaß
Hi Martina, They’re allegorical, representing different features, the one holding St Paul’s represents architecture 🙂
You get a great view of these from the Uber boat . I saw the statues and wondered who they were so thanks for the info