London Bridge Lesson For Kids: Facts & History

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

The London Bridge is actually a series of bridges in London, England. In this lesson, learn the history of the different bridges and how they were designed, and find out some cool facts about these bridges became famous symbols of London.

The River Thames

When you think about the London Bridge in England, you probably think it's only one bridge, right? Actually, the name London Bridge has been used to describe several bridges throughout history that crossed over the Thames River, a large river that flows through London, England. Let's find out about how these bridges were created, and learn about the bridge we know today as the London Bridge, which has become a symbol of London itself.

The Thames River flows through London, England.

Ancient Bridge

Although it wasn't called the London Bridge, there is evidence that the Romans built a bridge to cross the Thames River around 43 AD, nearly 2,000 years ago. This was most likely built out of wooden planks that were arranged across a set of boats lined up along the river, a style that was very innovative for the time.

The next record of a London Bridge wouldn't be for hundreds of years later - let's see what it was.

Bridge of Nursery Rhymes

The first stone London Bridge was built in 1176, and this is probably the kind of bridge that you imagine from fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Over time, wooden structures that were used did not withstand weather and weight, so a priest named Peter of Colechurch decided that a new, more sturdy bridge should be built.

How long do you think it takes to build a bridge today? Probably not a very long time, but the stone London Bridge took over 30 years to complete. In fact, the priest Peter did not live to see the finished result. However, when it was completed it had a huge impact on the community. People established businesses and houses near the bridge, and it helped people trade goods easily.

The new London Bridge enabled people to trade and helped the community of London to grow.
London Bridge

A New Design

Over time, repairs were needed for the London Bridge, thanks to years of use and disasters like a huge fire that destroyed much of the bridge and houses nearby. The bridge was rebuilt and repaired many times, and another bridge was constructed that gave the London Bridge some competition. The Westminster Bridge offered a new way to cross the Thames, although this was not really popular with merchants living and trading in London.

In the 1820s, an engineer named John Rennie created plans to build a new bridge and replace the one that Peter of Colechurch had built so long ago. Rennie passed away shortly after he was asked by government leaders in London to redesign the bridge. However, his sons carried out his vision and the new bridge was built.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account