'A Design for a New Bridge cros the River Thames', Westminster, 1721.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving showing Colon Campbell's design for a new bridge acros the Thames at Westminster. Westminster Bridge was built in 1738-1750 by the engineer Charles Labelye following Campbell's design. The bridge was built of masonry and consisted of fifteen arches resting on piers. Labelye's bridge deteriorated over time, and in 1837 major work was undertaken to replace the piled foundations. This proved insufficient to remedy the bridge's problems, and a parliamentary committee recommended the building of a new Westminster Bridge. Consequently a cast-iron bridge of seven arches was designed and built in the same location by Thomas Page in 1854-1862.