The view of old London Bridge from the south. The Monument and the church of St Magnus The Martyr can be seen on the right side, a group of houses with roof gardens are on the bridge and large and smaller ships are in the foreground of the painting. The Great Stone Gateway is at the right of the composition. In the 11th century, the original London Bridge, probably made of wood, acted as a barrier to prevent the Danes from sailing up the Thames and attacking the Anglo-Saxons. After its destruction, another bridge was built from stone in 1176, which remained the only bridge in London for 600 years. Shops and houses were built to raise revenue for its upkeep.
There are many views of London Bridge such as this one taken before 1760, when its buildings were demolished due to the damages caused by the Great Fire of London and other disasters. Samuel Scott’s Old London Bridge painting can be seen at Tate Britain and some engravings with similar views can be found at the British Museum. The new London Bridge opened in 1831 and it lasted 140 years before being replaced again in 1973.