Video Transcript

(music plays)
Vehicles drive along bridge crossing the Thames. The Tower Bridge appears on screen followed by images of London on a sunny day.
Dan Cruickshank appears on screen. He’s in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short, grey, receding hair. He wears a black life jacket and he stands on deck on a boat, which slowly approaches the Tower Bridge.
A caption on screen reads “Dan Cruickshank.”

Dan says BETWEEN
RICHMOND AND THE NORTH SEA,
30 BRIDGES SPAN THE THAMES.
THEY CARRY PEOPLE ACROSS A
STRETCH OF RIVER 35 MILES LONG,
BRINGING TOGETHER A POPULATION
OF NEARLY EIGHT MILLION.
THESE EXTRAORDINARY STRUCTURES
HAVE BEEN THE MAKING OF LONDON,
BRITAIN'S CAPITAL AND, I THINK,
EUROPE'S GREATEST CITY.
MILLIONS OF LONDONERS CROSS
THESE BRIDGES EVERY WEEK.
MOST, I DON'T SUPPOSE, GIVE
THEM A SECOND THOUGHT, BUT FOR
ME BRIDGES ARE FAR MORE THAN
MERELY A MEANS OF TRANSPORT,
WAYS OF GETTING FROM ONE PLACE
TO ANOTHER.
THEY ARE ALSO WAYS OF LINKING
THE PRESENT TO THE PAST.

(music plays)
Aerial views of London’s bridges flash by. Vehicles drive along one of them and boats sail under another one as the water reflects the sunlight. Dan admires the view of the Tower Bridge from the boat as it crosses below the drawbridge. Then, he stands on another bridge leaning over the railing to look at the river. The title appears on screen. It reads “The Bridges that Built London – with Dan Cruickshank.”

Dan says LONDON'S BRIDGES ARE NOT JUST
FUNCTIONAL OBJECTS; THEY'RE
ALSO SYMBOLS, METAPHORS.
THEY TRANSFORM, CONNECT,
INSPIRE.
AND THEY TELL GREAT STORIES...
OF BRONZE AGE RELICS OF THE
VAUXHALL SHORE, OF WHY LONDON
BRIDGE WAS FALLING DOWN, OF
CORPSES SPLASHING BENEATH
WATERLOO BRIDGE, AND, ABOVE
ALL, OF THE SUBLIME AMBITION
OF LONDON'S BRIDGE BUILDERS
THEMSELVES.
I WAS BORN WHEN LONDON WAS
STILL ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREAT
PORTS AND THE THAMES ONE OF THE
WORLD'S GREAT WORKING RIVERS.
I WELL REMEMBER AS A CHILD THE
IMPRESSION THAT LONDON'S
BRIDGES MADE ON ME.
I SUPPOSE BRIDGES GAVE ME MY
FIRST THRILLING,
STOMACH-CHURNING ARCHITECTURAL
EXPERIENCE.
AND, GOODNESS ME, THEY ARE
DOING THE SAME NOW!
AH, BRILLIANT VIEW!
SOME OF LONDON'S BRIDGES HAVE
VANISHED OR BEEN REPLACED.
THEY ARE GHOST-CROSSINGS OF THE
PAST, BUT EACH OF THEM IS A
CLUE TO THE CITY'S HIDDEN
HISTORY.
IN SOME WAYS, THEY ARE THAT
HISTORY - A HISTORY THAT'S
LASTED NEARLY 4,000 YEARS.

(music plays)
Seagulls cry in the distance as the silhouettes of vehicles driving along a bridge appear against the sun rising in the horizon. Flock of birds fly in all directions over the Thames. Images of the marshes along the river and the boats sailing along flash by.

Dan says IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE RIVER,
THE THAMES, THE GREATEST, THE
LONGEST RIVER IN ENGLAND.
200 MILES FROM ITS SOURCE, THE
RIVER MEETS THE TIDAL STREAM.
THE RESULT IS A LANDSCAPE OF
MARSHES AND ISLANDS,
INDETERMINATE AND ALWAYS
CHANGING.
ONLY HERE, FAR DOWNSTREAM FROM
THE CITY OF LONDON, CAN YOU
UNDERSTAND THE ELEMENTAL WORLD
OF SAND, MUD, PEBBLES, AND
DEBRIS THAT WAS THE THAMES
BEFORE THE CITY AND ITS BRIDGES
WERE BUILT.
FOR GENERATIONS STRETCHING BACK
OVER THE CENTURIES, LONDONERS
LABOURED IN THE MARSHES AT NOW
LONG LOST TRADES, MUD LARKS AND
SCAVENGERS, TOSHERS AND
DREDGERS, WATERMEN AND OYSTER
GATHERERS, ALL GONE, A LOST
CLASS.
THE RIVER HAS ALWAYS BEEN A
PORTAL INTO THE PAST.

Dan appears on screen as he sits by the river. Fast clips show chimneys releasing smoke as vehicles drive along a bridge in the background, the sun and the moon shining high in the sky, and a seagull flying over the river as the water reflects the sunlight.

Dan says IT'S INSPIRED ARTISTS AND
WRITERS - NONE MORE SO THAN
JOSEPH CONRAD SAYS, WHO WROTE THAT,
“NOTHING IS EASIER THAN TO
EVOKE THE GREAT SPIRIT OF THE
PAST THAN UPON THE LOWER REACHES
OF THE THAMES.”
FROM HERE, CONRAD SAYS COULD SEE
THE GREAT MODERN CITY OF LONDON
FROM AN ANCIENT PERSPECTIVE.

Conrad says “THE MONSTROUS TOWN
WAS MARKED OMINOUSLY ON THE SKY,
A BROODING GLOOM IN SUNSHINE,
A LURID GLARE UNDER THE STARS.
AND THIS ALSO HAS BEEN ONE OF
THE DARK PLACES OF THE EARTH.”
“WE LIVE IN THE FLICKER, BUT
DARKNESS WAS HERE YESTERDAY.”

(music plays)
The screen now shows aerial views of London and the Thames. The Westminster Abbey stands proudly by the river. A bridge with the inscription “VAUXHALL BRIDGE” and an industrial area by a harbour appear on screen. Dan stands on a rocky riverbank as he speaks to a group of people in reflective yellow vests and rubber boots.
A man takes pictures, another man take measurements, and a woman brushes an ancient piece of wood partially covered in water.

Dan says THE MARSHY LANDSCAPE ON
THE BANKS OF THE THAMES GAVE
BIRTH TO LONDON.
BUT THE EARLIEST BRIDGE WAS
BUILT NOT HERE BUT 15 MILES
UPSTREAM TO THE WEST, PAST THE
CITY OF LONDON, BEYOND THE SEAT
OF POWER AT WESTMINSTER, AT A
PLACE WHICH TODAY WE CALL
VAUXHALL.
HERE, IN 1500 B.C., BEFORE TROY
FELL AND LONG BEFORE JULIUS
CAESAR CAME TO BRITAIN, THE
PEOPLE OF THE MARSHES MADE A
FIRST ATTEMPT AT A CROSSING.
WE'RE EXTREMELY LUCKY; THE
REMAINS ARE ONLY COMPLETELY
EXPOSED TWICE A YEAR AT THE
VERY BOTTOM OF THE SPRING TIDE,
BUT WHAT A FIND!
TESTS HAVE SHOWN THAT THESE
TIMBER PILES HAVE BEEN
PRESERVED HERE FOR 3,500 YEARS.
SO, YOU'VE HAD THIS DATED WITH
DENDROCHRONOLOGY, HAVE YOU?
SO, YOU'RE THEREFORE SURE?

Gustav Milne appears on screen. He’s in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short, grey, receding hair. He wears a black jacket, jeans, boots, and a reflective yellow vest. Behind him, the Thames and the city’s skyline appear. Dan kneels down as he points at an old piece of wood on the riverbank and asks questions.
A caption on screen reads “Gustav Milne – Thames Discovery Program.”

Gustav says 1,500 YEARS,
CALENDAR DATED B.C.; YES.

Dan says 1,500.

Gustav says B.C.

Dan says B.C.

Gustav says WHICH IS ABOUT
3,500 YEARS.

Dan says SO, THEREFORE, THIS, IN
A WAY, IS THE OLDEST OF AN IN
SITU BIT OF STRUCTURE IN
LONDON, ISN'T IT?

(music plays)
People walk along the pebbly riverbank as they take measurements, take down notes, and brush off piece of partially-submerged wood.

Dan says WHY DID THEY BUILD THIS BRIDGE?
SOME ARCHAEOLOGISTS THINK IT
CARRIED PEOPLE NOT ACROSS THE
RIVER, BUT TO AN ISLAND THAT
PROBABLY EXISTED IN THE STREAM.
WE CAN'T KNOW FOR SURE, BUT
GUSTAV AND HIS TEAM THINK THAT
BACK THEN, THIS WAS THE HIGHEST
POINT OF THE TIDAL STREAM.
AND IT'S ALSO A PLACE WHERE
THREE RIVERS MET, THE THAMES
AND TWO OF ITS LOST
TRIBUTARIES, THE TYBURN AND THE
EFFRA.
THAT'S SOMETHING MAGICAL, THREE
RIVERS MEETING.
SO, WEIRD AND WONDERFUL TIDAL
THINGS HAPPEN, I SUPPOSE.

Gustav says THAT'S RIGHT,
AND IF THIS WAS THE TIDAL HEAD
IN THE BRONZE AGE, THAT'S A
VERY MAGICAL PLACE, BECAUSE THE
MOON IS DEFINITELY SAYING WHEN
THE TIDE WILL BE LOW AND WHEN
IT WILL BE HIGH.

Dan says AND WHEN PEOPLE SEE
THIS CONNECTION BETWEEN THOSE
THINGS IN THE SKY - THE MOON -
AND THOSE THINGS ON EARTH - THE
RIVER - THEY CONNECT AS A
SACRED THING.

Gustav says YOU WOULD NEED
TO PLACATE THE RIVER BECAUSE
VERY HIGH TIDES WOULD FLOOD ANY
SETTLEMENTS YOU HAD ROUND HERE,
SO WE HAVE POSSIBLY A SORT OF
SACRED RIVER AT THIS POINT.

(music plays)
Dan shows a picture showing two bronze spearheads. Then, Gustav takes two Diwali lamps out of his pockets and shows then to David. He also shows two figurines he takes out of plastic bags. The screen shows details of the figurines.

Dan says WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS
DISCOVERED, THE ARCHAEOLOGISTS
FOUND TWO BRONZE SPEARHEADS
DRIVEN POINT DOWN INTO THE MUD
BESIDE THE BRIDGE.
WERE THEY OFFERINGS TO THE
DEITY OF THE RIVER?
LIKE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN,
THIS URGE IS UNIVERSAL, AND
EVEN TODAY LONDONERS CONTINUE
TO MAKE OFFERINGS.

Gustav says ALL THE WAY UP
AND DOWN THE THAMES THESE DAYS,
WE FIND THIS KIND OF STUFF.
NOW, THESE ARE NOT BRONZE AGE;
THESE ARE DIWALI LAMPS.

Dan says OH, MY GOODNESS ME.
SO, IT'S LIKE IN INDIA, IT'S
LIKE IN THE SACRED GANGES.

Gustav says HANG ON A
MINUTE.
[Dan chuckling]

Dan says IT'S MODERN.

Gustav says WHAT'S THAT?

Dan says LORD GANESH, OVERCOMER
OF OBSTACLES, GREAT FELLOW.
AND THAT LOOKS LIKE KRISHNA OR
SOMETHING, DOESN'T IT?

Gustav says AND THESE
CHAPS.

Dan says THAT LOOKS LIKE
KRISHNA, DOESN'T IT?
SO, YOU FOUND THESE IN THE
THAMES.
SO, HINDUS LIVING IN ENGLAND,
IN LONDON ARE CASTING- USING
THE THAMES LIKE THE GANGES -
SACRED RIVER?

Gustav says RIGHT, SO
THEY'RE REPLICATING WHAT WE
USED TO DO IN THE BRONZE AGE, A
RITUAL RIVER, A POWERFUL GOD.

Dan says IF GUSTAV IS RIGHT,
THIS CHALLENGES A LOT OF OUR
ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT WHAT BRIDGES
ARE FOR.

Dan stands by the river as the group of people brush off the timber piles partially submerged in the Thames or among the pebbles on the riverbank.

Dan says IT DIDN'T ORIGINATE AS A MEANS
OF TRANSPORT OR TRADE, BUT AS
SACRED CREATIONS.
THIS WAS A BRIDGE BETWEEN A
SPIRITUAL, NOT A MATERIAL,
DIVIDE, A BRIDGE BETWEEN
WORLDS, A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE
WORLD OF MAN HERE AND THE WORLD
OF GODS, BETWEEN LIFE AND
DEATH.
THE THAMES WAS LIKE THE RIVER
JORDAN SAYS TO CROSS IT WAS TO
CROSS TO A PROMISED LAND.
THE LINK BETWEEN BRIDGES AND
THE SACRED ECHOES THROUGH THE
MILLENNIA.
IT'S IN FACT COMMEMORATED IN
OUR LANGUAGE.
THE HEAD OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC
CHURCH - THE POPE - IS CALLED
IN LATIN THE PONTIFEX, WHICH
MEANS BOTH BRIDGE-BUILDER AND
PRIEST.
INDEED, IT WAS THE ROMANS ABOUT
1,500 YEARS AFTER OUR MARSH
PEOPLE'S ACTIVITIES HERE WHO
BUILT LONDON'S FIRST
TRADITIONAL, CONVENTIONAL
BRIDGE.

(music plays)
Aerial views show the Thames as it makes its way through the city of London. Fast-paced videos show a bridge’s piles as they are slowly exposed during the low tide. Dan sails on a boat as The Shard towers over the surrounding buildings.

Dan says BRIDGING THE THAMES IS NOT
EASY.
THE RIVERBED IS CHANGING ALL
THE TIME BECAUSE OF TIDES AND
CURRENTS AND HUMAN ACTIVITY.
BUT IN TRUTH, IT'S VERY
SHALLOW, SOMETIMES LESS THAN
TWO METRES DEEP AT LOW TIDE.
THE ROMANS KNEW THIS; THEY WERE
CHAMPION ENGINEERS OF THE
ANCIENT WORLD.
THEY PUT THEIR BRIDGE IN ONE OF
THE SHALLOWEST, NARROWEST PARTS
OF THE RIVER, NOW SPANNED BY
THE MODERN LONDON BRIDGE, RIGHT
NEXT TO THE ANCIENT PORT - WHAT
IS CALLED THE POOL OF LONDON.
THE CONSEQUENCES HAVE BEEN
IMMENSE.
FOR CENTURIES, THIS AREA WAS
THE HEART OF THE BRITISH
ECONOMY.
A KEY REASON FOR THAT IS THAT
THIS WAS THE FIRST PLACE
UPSTREAM FROM THE SEA - ABOUT
40 MILES IN THAT DIRECTION -
THAT A BRIDGE COULD BE
CONSTRUCTED TO CONNECT THE
SOUTH AND THE NORTH BANKS OF
THE THAMES.
IN ADDITION, HARDENED BY THE
BRIDGE IS A TIDAL POOL,
ALLOWING LARGE SHIPS TO ANCHOR -
VERY GOOD FOR TRADE.
THERE'S BEEN A BRIDGE HERE ON
AND OFF FOR NEARLY 2,000 YEARS,
AND THAT'S BEEN THE MAKING OF
LONDON.

(music plays)
The screen shows a construction site now. Workers holding pickaxes and shovels dig in inside a pit. Dan appears on screen. He wears a reflective yellow vest and a blue hard hat. Two huge excavators near a pile of debris rest in the background.

Dan says BECAUSE OF THE CROSSING, LONDON
BECAME AN EXPLOSIVELY
SUCCESSFUL SETTLEMENT RIGHT
FROM THE BEGINNING.
SO SUCCESSFUL, IN FACT, THAT
ONLY WHEN BUILDING WORK TAKES
PLACE CAN WE GET A GLIMPSE OF
THE ROMAN FORESHORE.
AS CONQUERORS, THE ROMANS
NEEDED A DEFENSIBLE RIVERSIDE
SITE AND PORT SO THAT
REINFORCEMENTS COULD BE RUSHED
IN IF NEEDED, AND AN EVACUATION
COULD TAKE PLACE AT SPEED IN
THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
THE TRAUMA OF BOUDICCA'S
REBELLION IN A.D. 61, WHEN THE
ROMAN CAPITAL OF COLCHESTER
WAS BURNT, COMBINED WITH THE
FACT THAT ALREADY AT THAT TIME
THE BRIDGE HERE MADE LONDON
THE TRANSPORT CENTRE OF ROMAN
BRITAIN, MEANT THAT WHEN
ROMAN AUTHORITY WAS
REESTABLISHED, LONDON, NOT
COLCHESTER, BECAME THE
PROVINCIAL CAPITAL.
FROM HERE, THE ROMANS COULD
CONTROL ENGLAND; AND THEY DID
THAT FOR SEVERAL CENTURIES.

Nick Bateman appears on screen. He’s in his sixties, with short brown hair. He wears a reflective yellow jacket and a blue helmet. Dan and Nick look at the archaeologists working inside the pit as they speak. Images of old blocks of brick, mortar, and pieces of wood partially covered by mud flash by. Then, Dan and Nick go down the pit.
A caption on screen reads “Nick Bateman – Museum of London Archaeology.”

Nick says YOU'RE LOOKING
AT A SLICE OF ROMAN LONDON - OR
THE BEGINNING OF A SLICE OF
ROMAN LONDON.
THE VERY FIRST OF THE 1st
CENTURY WATERFRONT WOULD HAVE
COME THROUGH ROUGHLY WHERE THE
GUY DOWN THERE IS DIGGING.
WE'RE LOOKING SOUTH AT THE
MOMENT TOWARDS THE RIVER, SO IT
WOULD HAVE CUT ACROSS MORE OR
LESS THERE.
SO, YOU CAN SEE WE'RE ONLY JUST
BEGINNING TO UNCOVER - WE'VE
ONLY BEEN HERE A COUPLE OF
DAYS, BUT YOU CAN SEE THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS MODERN
STUFF WHICH THEY'RE DIGGING
OUT, AND THE ACTUAL LAYERS OF
ARCHAEOLOGY WHICH IS LEFT.
THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO
DO; THEY'RE TRYING TO
DISTINGUISH REAL ARCHAEOLOGY
FROM MODERN RUBBISH.

Dan says THIS IS THE FIRST
CHANCE WE'VE HAD TO INVESTIGATE
THE ROMAN BRIDGE FOR MORE THAN
30 YEARS.

Nick shows a design of the bridge. He points at it as he explains the construction of the bridge. Archaeologists at work appear on screen as they uncover wooden piles. Dan approaches them and shows the piles.

Nick says AS FAR AS WE
CAN MAKE OUT, WE ONLY SAW ONE
PIER OF THE BRIDGE IN 1981, BUT
QUITE A LOT OF IT.
IT'S FORMED OF A COMBINATION OF
HORIZONTALLY LAID TIMBERS
STACKED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER,
CANTILEVERING OUT, AND THEN THE
ACTUAL BRIDGE PLATFORM, THE
DECK, IS LAID ALONG THE TOP OF
THAT.
SO, THAT'S USING THE EVIDENCE
OF WHAT WE ACTUALLY FOUND IN
THE GROUND, HOW WE SPECULATE
THE BRIDGE WOULD HAVE LOOKED.

Dan says FASCINATING.
AS THE EXCAVATION CONTINUES,
THE ARCHAEOLOGISTS BEGIN TO
FIND WOODEN PILES, SURVIVORS OF
NEARLY 2,000 YEARS OF URBAN
DEVELOPMENT.
I CAN'T RESIST COMING TO GRIPS
WITH ROMAN ENGINEERING.
THIS IS A PILE.
OOH, VERY SOLID.
THESE BATTERED STUMPS ARE THE
REMAINS OF THE WHARVES BESIDE
THE BRIDGE, THROUGH WHICH THE
GOODS OF EMPIRE FLOWED IN AND
OUT, CHANGING THE PHYSICAL
GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMY OF
BRITAIN FOREVER.

(music plays)
Now Dan walks along a bridge as a double-decker drives in the background. Nicks leans over the railing, looks at the river, and shows some ancient coins. Boats appear on the river as they sail along the calm waters.

Dan says BUT THE INVADERS NEVER FORGOT
THAT A BRIDGE WAS STILL A
SACRED, METAPHYSICAL PLACE TOO.
WHEN THE GEORGIANS BUILT THE
PREDECESSOR TO THE BRIDGE I AM
STANDING ON, THEY DREDGED THE
RIVERBED TO CLEAR THE BOTTOM
FOR SHIPS TO PASS.
OUT THERE, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
RIVER, THEY FOUND A LARGE CACHE
OF ROMAN COINS RATHER LIKE
THESE, WONDERFUL THINGS, BRONZE
AND BRASS AND MAYBE SILVER.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS BELIEVE THERE
WAS A SHRINE IN THE MIDDLE OF
THE BRIDGE, AND PEOPLE PASSING
OVER WOULD CAST COINS INTO THE
MIGHTY THAMES TO APPEASE ITS
POWER.
SO, FOR THE ROMANS, AS WITH THE
BRONZE AGE MARSH PEOPLE
UPSTREAM AT VAUXHALL, BRIDGES
WERE SACRED THINGS, THINGS OF
RELIGION.
WE HAVE TO REMEMBER OF COURSE
THAT IN ROME, THE SAME WORD WAS
USED FOR A BRIDGE-BUILDER AS
FOR PRIEST, PONTIFEX.
INDEED, IT WAS ONE OF THE
TITLES OF THE ROMAN EMPEROR.

(music plays)
Fast clips show images of London at night. The Palace of Westminster and the Big Ben tower appear lit against the dark sky. Dan walks among the people on the streets passing monuments and stepping into galleries. A sign next to a street lamp reads “COVENT GARDEN – CITY OF WESTMINSTER.”

Dan says BOTH EMPERORS AND EMPIRE ARE,
OF COURSE, LONG GONE, AND THE
BRIDGE WITH THEM.
FOR CENTURIES, THERE WAS NO
ATTEMPT TO REBUILD IT, AND NO
REAL NEED.
THE MAIN SETTLEMENT IN LONDON
NOW WAS A LONG WAY FROM THE
REMAINS OF THE ROMAN BRIDGE.
A MILE-AND-A-HALF UPSTREAM,
AROUND WHAT IS NOW COVENT
GARDEN, A NEW TRADING POST GREW
UP BY A SHARP BEND IN THE
RIVER.
IT WAS A BEACH MARKET TOWN, AND
THE LONDON STREET NAMES
PRESERVE ITS MEMORY, OF THE
STRAND WHERE EARLY ENGLISH
MERCHANTS PULLED UP THEIR
SHIPS, AND THE ALDWYCH, THE OLD
VICUS OR TRADING PORT.
AND THE RIVER BECAME - AS IT
HAD BEEN BEFORE THE ROMANS - A
FRONTIER, A BORDER BETWEEN
WARRING KINGDOMS WITH NAMES
LIKE ESSEX, MIDDLESEX, SURREY,
AND KENT.

(music plays)
Dan leans over a low wall as he looks at the river. A boat sails along and the brightly lit skyscrapers appear in the distance.

Dan says FOR LONDON TO ACHIEVE ITS
DESTINY AS A GREAT CITY, IT
NEEDED A PROPER BRIDGE.
ONCE KING ALFRED AND HIS
SUCCESSORS HAD REUNITED ENGLAND
AND REOCCUPIED THE ROMAN CITY,
A BRIDGE WAS BUILT.
BUT IT WAS REALLY NO MORE THAN
A FLIMSY CAUSEWAY INTENDED MORE
TO STOP RAIDERS TRAVELLING
UPSTREAM THAN TO BE AN AID TO
TRANSPORT.
FOR A PROPER AND SOLID BRIDGE,
LONDON HAD TO WAIT AROUND 1,000
YEARS AFTER THE ROMAN BRIDGE,
BUT THEN THAT BRIDGE WAS VERY
SOLID AND VERY PROPER INDEED.

A children’s choir sings LONDON BRIDGE IS
FALLING DOWN
FALLING DOWN,
FALLING DOWN...

The view of a bridge over the Thames appears on screen. Then, a black-and-white engraving shows a long bridge with buildings built along it. Dan walks along narrow streets in London until he reaches a church with a big wooden gate and many windows on its facade. The flag of England waves on a post on church’s roof.

Dan says OF ALL THE RIVER
CROSSINGS IN LONDON, THE ONE WE
ACTUALLY CALL LONDON BRIDGE IS
THE MOST FAMOUS, THE ONE WE
REMEMBER IN THE NURSERY RHYME.
BUT THE STRUCTURE IMMORTALIZED
IN THE SONG IS NOT THE RUTHLESS
CONCRETE SPAN WE SEE TODAY, NOR
EVEN THE ONE THAT PRECEDED IT.
THE BRIDGE WE REMEMBER IS THE
MEDIEVAL BRIDGE, THE BRIDGE OF
THOMAS BECKET AND DICK
WHITTINGTON, THE ONE CHAUCER
AND SHAKESPEARE KNEW.
BUT IT'S A GHOST WHICH HAUNTS
ME STILL, AND THE QUESTION I
ASK MYSELF IS, WHAT WAS IT
REALLY LIKE?
WHAT WAS LONDON BRIDGE, AND WHY
WAS IT FALLING DOWN?
TO FIND OUT, WE HAVE TO GO BACK
800 YEARS TO THE 12th CENTURY.
AT THE TIME, LONDON WAS
BOOMING.
MUCH OF THE STREET PLAN OF THE
MODERN CITY WAS LAID DOWN BY
THEN, ALTHOUGH VERY FEW OF THE
ACTUAL BUILDINGS SURVIVE.
BUT WHAT HAS ENDURED ARE THE
RECORDS OF THE BRIDGE,
PRESERVED IN THE ARCHIVES OF
THE CORPORATION OF LONDON.
THEY TELL US THAT IN 1173, A
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY, THE
CHAPLAINS, BRETHREN, AND
SISTERS OF THE BRIDGE OF LONDON
WERE ENTRUSTED WITH BUILDING A
NEW STONE BRIDGE.
AND THE MASTERMIND OF THE
PROJECT WAS A PARISH PRIEST,
PETER OF COLECHURCH, OFF
CHEAPSIDE.

Dan appears sitting at a table in a dimly lit room. Books and documents lie on the table. Dan wears white gloves as he handles the documents. Close-up pictures of the ancient documents flash by on screen. Two carved seals appear on screen. The first one is green and the second one is red. Dan describes what they represent.

He says THESE ANCIENT DOCUMENTS OFFER
INSIGHT INTO THE CREATION, THE
USE, AND MAINTENANCE OF ONE OF
LONDON'S GREATEST STRUCTURES.
OLD LONDON BRIDGE STARTED IN
1176; IT'S BEEN LONG LOST, BUT
THIS TREASURE TROVE OF INTIMATE
AND EVOCATIVE DOCUMENTS ALMOST
BRING IT BACK TO LIFE.
LOOK AT THIS WONDERFUL THING,
FOR EXAMPLE.
IT IS A GRANT, DATED 1205; A
GRANT FROM PETER THE PRIEST,
PETER OF COLECHURCH, THE
ARCHITECT AND THE CREATOR OF
LONDON BRIDGE - INCREDIBLE.
AND ATTACHED TO THIS GRANT IS
SOMETHING UTTERLY WONDERFUL.
IT'S A SEAL - HERE IT IS - AND
IT SHOWS PETER OF COLECHURCH
NOT AS AN ARCHITECT OR AN
ENGINEER, BUT AS A PRIEST
OFFERING COMMUNION.
ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL; SUCH A
DIRECT CONNECTION WITH THE MAIN
MAN BEHIND OLD LONDON BRIDGE.
NOW, THIS IS A CHARTER OF ABOUT
1320, AND WE HAVE ATTACHED TO
IT HERE ANOTHER SEAL - AGAIN
WONDERFUL.
IT SHOWS AN ABSTRACT
REPRESENTATION OF THE BRIDGE,
I SUPPOSE; JUST SIMPLY AN ARCH,
WITH THOMAS BECKET SITTING ON
THE TOP OF IT.
AND BELOW THE ARCH, WE SEE THE
CITY OF LONDON.
ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL IMAGE,
ST. PAUL'S IN THE CENTRE, OLD
ST. PAUL'S WITH ITS SPIRE
INTACT, FLANKED BY CITY
CHURCHES WITH THEIR SPIRES
POINTING TO THE HEAVENS.

A children’s choir sings LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING
DOWN...

Now Dan shows the picture in an old manuscript on a tablet computer. As Dan describes what he sees, details of the picture flash by.

Dan says ONE OF THE REASONS
THE MEDIEVAL LONDON BRIDGE
BECAME SUCH AN ICON FOR THE
CITY WAS THAT IT WAS A LIVING
BRIDGE, AN ASTONISHING
STRUCTURE WITH THE HOUSES AND
SHOPS BUILT UPON IT.
THE OLDEST IMAGE OF IT DATES
FROM THE 15th CENTURY.
HERE, WE SEE IT; IT'S THE FIRST
SORT OF DRAWN IMAGE OF LONDON
BRIDGE.
IN THE FOREGROUND, THE TOWER OF
LONDON, WITH VARIOUS ACTIVITIES
GOING ON, AND THERE'S THE WATER
GATE FROM THE THAMES.
AND IN THE BACKGROUND, AN
INCREDIBLE IMAGE OF THE
NORTHERN HALF OF LONDON BRIDGE,
GREAT CHAPEL IN THE CENTRE, AND
THE ARCHES CONNECTING THAT TO
LAND AT THE NORTH BANK.
AND IN THE BACKGROUND, THERE'S
AN UNCANNY SIMILAR IMAGE TO
THAT ON THE SEAL, THE SKYLINE
OF LONDON, WITH THE SPIRES, OLD
ST. PAUL'S, AND THE SPIRES OF
CITY CHURCHES.
IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, THIS
DRAWING - MANUSCRIPT DRAWING.

(music plays)
An aerial view of London appears on screen. The Shard stands out in the foreground and the 30 St Mary Axe appears in the background. Boats sail in opposite directions along the Thames. Dan walks along the streets during a sunny day.

Dan says IN OUR SEARCH FOR OLD LONDON
BRIDGE, THE STREET PLAN OF THE
CITY IS A MAJOR CLUE.
WE KNOW THAT THE MEDIEVAL
BRIDGE LAY JUST TO THE EAST OF
ITS MODERN COUNTERPART, AND IF
YOU DECODE THE STREET PLAN, ITS
GHOSTLY LOCATION BEGINS TO
REVEAL ITSELF.
THE MONUMENT TO LONDON'S GREAT
FIRE OF 1666 WAS PUT UP BESIDE
THE ANCIENT NORTHERN APPROACH
TO THE BRIDGE, AND AT EACH END
OF THE BRIDGE, WE'RE TOLD THERE
WAS A CHURCH.
FOLLOWING THE ROAD HERE - FISH
STREET HILL - LEADS US DOWN TO
THE CHURCH OF ST. MAGNUS THE
MARTYR, WHICH STOOD LIKE A KIND
OF SPIRITUAL TOLLBOOTH AT THE
NORTHERN END OF THE BRIDGE.

Dan appears at the Church of St. Magnus the Martyr. Details of the building appear on screen as Dan continues his narration. A black and gold antique clock hangs from a bracket and projects out above a passage. Then, Dan shows block of white stone.

Dan says ONCE YOU UNDERSTAND THAT OLD
LONDON BRIDGE STOOD SLIGHTLY TO
THE EAST OF MODERN LONDON
BRIDGE, EVERYTHING HERE MAKES
SENSE, THIS SPLENDID ELEVATION
ON THE TOWER OF ST. MAGNUS THE
MARTYR CHURCH, WHICH EVERYBODY
CROSSING LONDON BRIDGE WOULD
HAVE PASSED, BECAUSE THE
CARRIAGEWAY, THE ROADWAY TO
LONDON BRIDGE, WAS HERE.
AND INSIDE THERE WITHIN THE
ARCH, SO TO SPEAK, BELOW THE
TOWER, WAS THE PEDESTRIAN
ROUTE.
AND HERE, WE HAVE SALVAGED SOME
OF THE STONE FROM OLD LONDON
BRIDGE - I SUPPOSE A PART OF
THE MID-18th CENTURY RE-CASING
OF THE BRIDGE IN PORTLAND
STONE.

[bell ringing]

Now Dan appears inside a room in the church. He shows a model of a bridge lying on a long table. The screen shows details of the model bridge with its supporting arches, buildings constructed along it, and figurines representing people in different activities.

Dan says INSIDE THE CHURCH IS SOMETHING
OF A RELIC, OUR NEXT CLUE TO
WHAT OLD LONDON BRIDGE MIGHT
HAVE BEEN LIKE.
THIS WONDERFUL MODEL SHOWS
LONDON BRIDGE AS IT COULD HAVE
LOOKED - AS INDEED I'M SURE IT
DID LOOK - IN ABOUT 1400.
IT WAS THEN 900 FEET LONG FROM
THE CITY HERE TO SOUTHWARK,
WITH THE CARRIAGEWAY, THE
ROADWAY, CARRIED ON 19
STONE-BUILT ARCHES - THE 20th
ARCH BEING IN FACT A DRAWBRIDGE
SOMEWHAT IN THE MIDDLE.
AND ON THE STONE-BUILT ARCHES,
WE HAVE AN ARRAY OF
TIMBER-BUILT HOUSES AND SHOPS -
ABOUT 140 IN 1400.
ALSO, ONE CAN SEE VERY CLEARLY
THAT ABOUT HALF THE WIDTH OF
THE RIVER IS CONSTRAINED BY THE
THICK PIERS OF THE ARCHES AND
THE BREAKWATERS IN FRONT OF
THEM.
THEY'RE CALLED STARLINGS, WITH
THEIR EDGES PROTECTED BY TIMBER
PILES.
IN THE MIDDLE, ROUGHLY, IS THE
GREAT FORTIFICATION, WITH THE
DRAWBRIDGE, A REMINDER THAT
LONDON WAS DEFENDED TO A DEGREE
BY THE THAMES; IT WAS LIKE A
MOAT, AND TO SPAN IT WAS TO
COMPROMISE THE DEFENSE OF THE
CITY.
SO, ONE NEEDED TO PREVENT
INVADERS COMING ACROSS THE
BRIDGE FROM THE SOUTH.
UP COMES THE DRAWBRIDGE; THIS IS
A FORTIFICATION.
THE BRIDGE, IN A SENSE, IS PART
OF THE DEFENSES OF LONDON,
AND THE CITY WALL.
I DON'T KNOW; ONE JUST WONDERS,
CAN ANYTHING OF THIS WONDERFUL
BRIDGE STILL SURVIVE BELOW THE
WATERS OF THE THAMES?

(music plays)
A modern image of the Thames appears on screen. Then the model of the Medieval Bridge appears crossing the river showing its former location.

Dan says IT WAS 30 YEARS BEFORE THIS
LEGENDARY CROSSING WAS
COMPLETED IN 1209.
IT STOOD LONGER THAN ANY OTHER
IN LONDON'S HISTORY, BUT LIKE
ALL BRIDGES, IT WAS NEVER
REALLY FINISHED.
TO RESIST THE HUGE FORCE OF
CURRENTS AND TIDE ON THE RIVER,
IT HAD TO BE MAINTAINED.

A children’s choir sings BUILD IT UP WITH WOOD
AND CLAY
MY FAIR LADY

Dan says AND THAT OFFERS US A
CLUE TO THE REAL MEANING OF THE
NURSERY RHYME.

Dan and Gustav appear on screen as they stand in front of a group of wooden piles above a construction near the riverbank. Details of the wooden pieces flash by on screen.

Gustav says WHAT WE HAVE
HERE, BIZARRELY, IS WHAT THE
CUTWATERS, THE PIERS FOR LONDON
BRIDGE, WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE,
THE MEDIEVAL BRIDGE.
THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN ROUND WOOD
PILES LIKE THIS.

Dan says MADE OUT OF WHAT,
CHESTNUT, OAK?

Gustav says ELM OFTEN.

Dan says ELM.

Gustav says AND DRIVEN
IN WITH A RAM, AND THEN CLAD
BEHIND WITH TIMBER PLANKING.

Dan says THAT WOULD BE MADE UP
WITH MASONRY, WITH EARTH, WITH
ALL SORTS OF SOLID THINGS IN
BETWEEN THE TIMBER POSTS AND
BEAMS.

Gustav says SO, THE BRIDGE
WOULD BE SUPPORTED BY THE
INFILL OF THESE ARTIFICIAL
ISLANDS, HELD IN PLACE BY
PLANKS AND ROUND WOODPILES;
VERY LABORIOUS WORK.

Dan says WHEN DO THESE DATE
FROM, DO YOU THINK?

Gustav says THESE ARE
CONTEMPORARY WITH PROBABLY THE
LAST PHASE OF THE MEDIEVAL
BRIDGE; THESE WOULD HAVE BEEN
HERE IN THE LATE 18th CENTURY.

Dan says THE OBVIOUS QUESTION
FOR LAYMEN IS THAT THESE PILES
ARE SOME CENTURIES OLD;
THEY'VE SURVIVED UNDERWATER.
WELL, AT LOW TIDE, AT HIGH
TIDE, THE WATER'S RIGHT UP
HERE.
IT'S ASTONISHING, SO TIMBER'S
PRESERVED BY BEING KEPT WET?

Gustav says YES, IF IT'S
KEPT WET, IT WILL BE PRESERVED.
IF IT'S KEPT DRY, IT WILL BE
PRESERVED.
THE REAL PROBLEM IS IF A TIMBER
RISES FROM THE BOTTOM ABOVE THE
HIGH WATER MARK, IT WILL DECAY
AT THE HIGH WATER MARK, BECAUSE
PART OF IT IS DRY AND THEREFORE
DOESN'T EXPAND; PART OF IT IS
WET, AND THEREFORE IT EXPANDS
WHEN IT'S WET AND THEN IT
SHRINKS WHEN IT'S DRY.

(music plays)
The image of a group of boats resting on calm waters along a pier appears on screen. Dan sits on a wooden structure by the river as he speaks. In the background, people walk along a bridge and a boat sails along the river.

Dan says IT TOOK HUGE QUANTITIES
OF TIMBER AND KENTISH RAGSTONE
TO MAINTAIN OLD LONDON BRIDGE.
THE ENORMOUS COSTS WERE PAID
FOR BY THE PROCEEDS FROM TOLLS,
FROM BOTH PEOPLE AND SHIPS.
BUT SOMETIMES, THE MONEY WENT
ASTRAY, AND THE RESULT COULD BE
CATASTROPHIC.
IN 1282, FIVE OF THE ARCHES OF
THE BRIDGE COLLAPSED.
ABOUT 12 YEARS EARLIER, KING
HENRY III HAD GIVEN THE
REVENUES OF THE BRIDGE TO HIS
WIFE, QUEEN ELEANOR, AND SHE
SPENT IT ON HERSELF, NOT ON
MAINTAINING THE BRIDGE.
THAT'S WHY LONDON BRIDGE
COLLAPSED.
SHE IS THE MY FAIR LADY OF THE
NURSERY RHYME - A NURSERY RHYME
WHICH REVEALS LONDONERS' DEEP
ANXIETY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF
THEIR ALL-IMPORTANT BRIDGE.
IF IT WASN'T PROPERLY
MAINTAINED ON A REGULAR BASIS,
IT WOULD INDEED COLLAPSE.

Monks sing as the screen shows details of the picture in the manuscript Dan showed earlier. Then, fast clips show images of a church including the wooden gate with wrought-iron hinges, the painting of a virgin and colourful stained glass windows. A sign hanging on one of the church’s wall appears on screen. It reads “THE DIOCESE OF LONDON – THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST. MAGNUS THE MARTYR.”

Dan says AFTER THE DISASTER, THERE WAS A
SMALL REVOLUTION.
THE CITY OF LONDON TOOK BACK
THE REVENUES OF THE BRIDGE FROM
THE CROWN AND GAVE THEM
PERMANENTLY TO THE PEOPLE -
INDEED, TO THE SUCCESSORS OF
PETER OF COLECHURCH'S
COMMUNITY, NOW CALLED THE
BRIDGE HOUSE ESTATE.
THE BRIDGE NOW SYMBOLIZED
LONDON'S NEWFOUND CIVIC
INDEPENDENCE, BUT ITS RELIGIOUS
ROOTS WERE NOT FORGOTTEN.
THERE WERE CHURCHES AT EACH
END, AND IN THE MIDDLE WAS A
CHAPEL ON TWO LEVELS, ONE AT
THE ROADSIDE FOR TRAVELLERS,
AND ONE AT THE WATER'S EDGE FOR
BOATMEN.
SPIRITUAL TOLLS WERE PAID THEN
AND NOW.

Fr. Philip Warner appears on screen. He’s in his mid-forties, with grey shaved hair and a stubble. He wears a black cassock and black-rimmed glasses. A caption on screen reads “Fr. Philip Warner – St. Magnus the Martyr.” Pictures of Fr. Warner and other priests appear on screen during a service outdoors. In the pictures, Fr. Warner wears a white cassock, a green and yellow cape, and a black biretta.

Fr. Warner says EVERY
YEAR, ON THE FEAST OF THE
BAPTISM OF CHRIST, WHICH IS IN
JANUARY, WE PROCESS FROM THIS
CHURCH TO THE MIDDLE OF LONDON
BRIDGE, AND THERE WE MEET SOME
OF OUR FRIENDS FROM SOUTHWARK
CATHEDRAL COMING THE OTHER WAY.
WE HAVE A SHORT SERVICE IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE BRIDGE; WE PRAY
FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK ON THE
RIVER, WHO TAKE THEIR
RECREATION ON THE RIVER, FOR
PEOPLE WHO'VE DROWNED IN THE
RIVER, INDEED.
AND THEN WE THROW A WOODEN
CROSS INTO THE RIVER ITSELF AS
A SIGN OF GOD'S BLESSING.

(music plays)
Now Dan appears at a dance studio. A group of male and female dancers rehearse dance steps and choreographies.

Dan says THESE YOUNGSTERS TOO
ARE A DIRECT LINK TO THAT
MEDIEVAL WORLD, BECAUSE THE
ORGANIZATION WHICH BUILT AND
PRESERVED OLD LONDON BRIDGE
STILL EXISTS.
IT HAS AN INCOME OF 700 pounds
MILLION A YEAR, DERIVED FROM
CENTURIES OF INVESTMENT.
IT IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL
THE BRIDGES WITHIN THE BOUNDS
OF THE CITY, BUT THEY HAVE AN
ANNUAL SURPLUS OF UP TO 20 pounds
MILLION, WHICH GOES TO LONDON
CHARITIES - LIKE THIS DANCE
GROUP FUNDED DIRECTLY FROM THE
TOLLS AND CHARITY LEFT BY
MEDIEVAL LONDONERS ALL THOSE
CENTURIES AGO.

Bells ring in the distance as the screen shows a boat sailing along the middle of the Thames. Far in the distance, partially covered by the fog, the Tower Bridge appears. Dan leans over the railing along a bridge as he contemplates the scene and speaks. The engraving of the Medieval Building appears on screen.

Dan says OLD LONDON BRIDGE STOOD ABOUT
15 METRES OVER THERE.
WITH ITS TALL BUILDINGS, ITS
HOUSES AND SHOPS, IT WAS IN A
SENSE A CITY WITHIN THE CITY.
IN THAT SPACE, PEOPLE -
LONDONERS - LIVED AND DIED,
TOILED AND TOOK THEIR PLEASURES
FOR NEARLY 600 YEARS.
I LIVE NEARBY, AND I OFTEN COME
HERE TO LOOK, TO IMAGINE THIS
SPECTRAL BRIDGE, TO LISTEN, TO
SEE IF I CAN PICK UP THE SOUND
ECHOING THROUGH THE CENTURIES
OF THE PILGRIMS, THE MERCHANTS,
THE TRAVELLERS, THE SOLDIERS,
CROSSING ONE WAY AND THE OTHER.
IT MAY SEEM FANCIFUL; BUT WHO
KNOWS?
PERHAPS, PERHAPS.

(music plays)
A series of coloured paintings of the former London Bridge appear on screen. The first one depicts the bridge under a grey sky. In the foreground, a group of wooden boats rest by the shore. The second one shows a scene of the frozen river. The bridge appears small in the distance. In the foreground, people, horse-drawn carriages, and a parade appear on the frozen river. The third picture is the manuscript picture Dan previously showed.

Dan says FOR 600 YEARS, LONDON BRIDGE
DOMINATED THE CITY, AND THE
MASSIVE, ICONIC STRUCTURE
REDEFINED THE VERY RIVER IT
SPANNED.
ITS HUGE PIERS AND STARLINGS
INTERFERED WITH THE FLOW OF THE
THAMES ITSELF.
THE BLOCKAGE CAUSED BY THE
BRIDGE SLOWED THE CURRENT; AS A
RESULT, THE RIVER REGULARLY
FROZE OVER.
LONDONERS TOOK TO THE ICE WITH
GUSTO, AND WHAT WERE CALLED
FROST FAIRS - WITH GAMES AND
PROCESSIONS, STALLS AND EVEN
BULL-BAITING - BECAME A LONDON
INSTITUTION.
BY HOLDING BACK THE WATER, THE
PIERS OF THE BRIDGE ALSO
FUNCTIONED AS A GIANT WEIR.
IN EVEN THE EARLIEST
MANUSCRIPT, WE CAN CLEARLY SEE
THE RAPIDS POURING THROUGH THE
ARCHES.
PASSING THROUGH IT WAS KNOWN AS
SHOOTING THE BRIDGE, AND BOATS
WERE OFTEN OVERTURNED.

Dan now appears in a museum. He shows an intricately carved gold barge. A caption on screen reads “National Maritime Museum, Greenwich – Royal River.”

Dan says FRAMED BY THE ARCHES OF LONDON
BRIDGE, THE THAMES BECAME A
THEATRE FOR THE ROYAL
PAGEANTRY.
THE MORE UNPOPULAR WIVES OF
HENRY VIII SHOT THE BRIDGE AS A
RITE OF PASSAGE, RATHER THAN
BEING GIVEN MORE CONVENTIONAL
CORONATIONS.
LATER ON, ROYALTY TRAVELLED ON
THE THAMES IN WONDERFUL BARGES
SUCH AS THIS.
THIS SPLENDID THING WAS MADE IN
THE 1730s FOR FREDERICK, PRINCE
OF WALES.
AND, OF COURSE, ORDINARY
LONDONERS ENJOYED THE THAMES AS
WELL; THERE WERE FROST FAIRS,
FIREWORK DISPLAYS, AND THE LORD
MAYOR'S SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY
HELD ON THE WATER.

(music plays)
The screen shows an aerial view of the Greenwich Hospital. Dan walks along its gardens. In the background, the bare branches of a line of trees appear.

Dan says LIKE VENICE, LONDON WAS A WORLD
OF THE WATER.
THE WHOLE CITY FACED THE
FORESHORE.
HERE IN GREENWICH, DOWNSTREAM
FROM THE CITY OF LONDON, YOU
CAN STILL CATCH A SENSE OF HOW
THE RIVER AND CITY ONCE MERGED.
HERE STOOD ONE OF THE GREAT
TUDOR PALACES, RIGHT ON THE
WATER.
REBUILT BY THE STUARTS FROM
1610 ONWARDS, GREENWICH NEVER
LOST ITS RIVER FOCUS.
IT'S A RELIC OF THE WORLD OF
THE ROYAL RIVER - A WORLD,
WHICH IT SEEMED, WOULD LAST
FOREVER, BUT LONDON'S GROWTH
CHANGED ALL THAT.
AS INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION SWEPT
ONWARDS, LONDON PLANNED MORE
BRIDGES, BRIDGES MADE POSSIBLE
BY NEW TECHNOLOGY.

Now Dan appears in a room. A framed picture, a big book, and the model of a sailing boat lie on a table. As Dan explains what he sees, the screen shows close-up pictures of a bridge and an engine design.

Dan says THIS VOLUME CONTAINS
VISIONARY PROPOSALS FOR
THAMES-SIDE LONDON.
THEY WERE DRAWN UP IN 1800 FOR
THE CITY CORPORATION, WHICH AT
THAT TIME WANTED TO REORGANIZE
THE PORT OF LONDON.
THAT INVOLVED REBUILDING LONDON
BRIDGE AND MOVING IT
SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE WEST.
THIS SHOWS A REBUILT LONDON
BRIDGE.
THIS IS THE CENTRAL ARCH, CAST
IRON, MUCH HIGHER, SO GREATER
CLEARAGE FOR INDEED HIGH-MASTED
SHIPS, SHOWN GOING THROUGH.
THIS IS AN AMAZING IMAGE;
INCREDIBLE.
OF COURSE, THIS DID NOT HAPPEN.
BUT, THINGS DIDN'T HAPPEN AND
ALL HAS CHANGED - CHANGE TO A
LARGE DEGREE BROUGHT ABOUT BY
ENGINES SUCH AS THIS.
THIS IS A DRAWING OF A PILE
DRIVER, DESIGNED IN THE LATE
1730s FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF
THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE
WESTMINSTER BRIDGE.
THIS IS AN EARLY PRODUCT OF THE
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, I
SUPPOSE.
HERE, YOU SEE HORSES - IT SAYS
HORSE POWERED - GOING ROUND A
SORT OF CAPSTAN, WITH A GEAR
DEVISED TO INCREASE THE POWER
OF THE HORSES.
THE ROPES WOULD RISE THIS GREAT
HAMMER UP HERE; THERE IT IS,
THE HAMMER'S BROUGHT TO THE TOP
HERE.
THEN IT WOULD BE RELEASED AND
RUSHED DOWN - POW - AND DRIVE
THE TIMBER PILE IN THROUGH THE
BED.
SO, A VERY IMPORTANT MOVEMENT
IN BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION OF
COURSE TRANSFORMED LONDON.
IT TRANSFORMED THE WORLD, AND
VERY PARTICULARLY FOR LONDON,
IT FUELLED AN EXPLOSION OF
BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION.

An aerial view of a bridge crossing the Thames appears on screen. The building cast their shadow on the water surface. Then, the screen shows an aerial view of the Palace of Westminster. The Big Ben stands proudly by the river. Dan looks at the river as he speaks. Boats of all sizes rest on calm waters in the pier as birds fly over them.

Dan says FOR MORE THAN 500 YEARS, LONDON
BRIDGE STOOD ALONE AS THE
CROSSING OF THE THAMES.
IT DEFINED THE ORIGINAL CITY,
THE COMMERCIAL GIANT.
BUT TWO MILES UPSTREAM, THERE
WAS ANOTHER BIG URBAN CENTRE,
WESTMINSTER.
FROM 1300 ONWARDS, THIS AREA
HAD BEEN THE SEAT BOTH OF
POLITICAL POWER AND SOCIAL
PRESTIGE IN ENGLAND - BUT IT
HAD NO BRIDGE.
THAT'S BECAUSE THE CITY OF
LONDON HAD FOUGHT TO PRESERVE
OLD LONDON BRIDGE'S LUCRATIVE
MONOPOLY.
SO, WHEN PLANS FOR ANOTHER
CROSSING AT WESTMINSTER WERE
MOOTED IN THE 1660s, THERE WAS
UPROAR.
IT WASN'T JUST THE CITY FATHERS
WHO OBJECTED; THEY WERE JOINED
BY THOUSANDS OF WATERMEN -
THAT'S BOATMEN AND FERRYMEN -
WHO BELIEVED THEIR LIVELIHOODS
WOULD BE THREATENED IF THE
SECOND BRIDGE WAS BUILT.
YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT THEN,
UNLIKE NOW, THE THAMES WAS
LONDON'S MAIN HIGHWAY, PACKED
WITH CRAFT OF ALL TYPES,
CARRYING GOODS AND PEOPLE UP
AND DOWN AND FROM SIDE TO SIDE.

(music plays)
The facade of a building appears on screen. Stained glass windows show a shield with a boat, paddles, and water. A bronze letterbox shows the text “WATERMENS’ HALL.” Inside the building, a portrait painting of John Taylor hangs on a wall. Old cartoons depicting sailors appear on screen.

Dan says NOW, THE WATERMEN WERE A VERY
POWERFUL LOBBY INDEED.
THEY HAD THEIR OWN CITY LIVERY
COMPANY AND EVEN THEIR OWN
POET, THE WATERMAN POET JOHN
TAYLOR.
HE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE
COMPETITION AFTER THE
INTRODUCTION IN TUDOR TIMES OF
THE SPRUNG CARRIAGE.

John Taylor says “CARROACHES,
COACHES, JADES, AND FLANDERS'
MARES, DO ROB US OF OUR SHARES,
OUR WARES, OUR FARES; AGAINST
THE GROUND WE STAND AND KNOCK
OUR HEELS, WHILST ALL OUR PROFIT
RUNS AWAY ON WHEELS.”

Now Robert Crouch appears on screen. He’s a man in his seventies, clan-shaven, with short grey hair. He wears a white shirt, a blue and white tie, a blue jacket, and tinted glasses. Dan and Robert stand close on a pier. In the background, the Thames and the London Eye appear. A caption on screen reads “Robert Crouch MVO – Thames Waterman’s Company.”

Robert Crouch says THEY COULDN'T
CHARGE MORE THAN THE SET FARE,
AS TAXIS DO TODAY.
BUT IF YOU COULD PERSUADE YOUR
PASSENGER THAT IT WAS AGAINST
THE TIDE, AND IT WAS A TERRIBLE
EVENING, AND WHATEVER, I'LL DO
MY BEST TO GET YOU THERE ON
TIME, THEN OF COURSE THERE
MIGHT BE A NICE TIP AT THE END
OF IT.

Dan says INDEED.
OKAY, SO WATERMEN WOULD BE
INVOLVED IN MANY THINGS, BUT
ONE OF COURSE WAS GETTING
PEOPLE ACROSS THE THAMES.
AND, IN A SENSE, BRIDGES WERE
AN ENEMY OF WATERMEN; THEY TOOK
AWAY THE TRADE.

Robert Crouch says ABSOLUTELY,
YES.

Dan says AND THEY OBJECTED TO
THEM.

Robert Crouch says THEY OBJECTED
TO EVERY BRIDGE AND WERE
COMPENSATED VERY OFTEN FOR - OR
AT LEAST THE COMPANY WAS
COMPENSATED VERY OFTEN FOR - A
BRIDGE BEING BUILT, TAKING
TRADE AWAY.

Dan says WOULD YOU STILL OBJECT
TO YET ANOTHER BRIDGE BEING
BUILT?
DID THE WATERMAN'S COMPANY
OBJECT TO THE RECENT MILLENNIUM
BRIDGE?

Robert Crouch says OH,
ABSOLUTELY, YEAH.

Dan says YOU DID?
EXCELLENT!
[Dan laughing]

Robert Crouch says WE THOUGHT IT
WAS HILARIOUS.
WE CALL IT THE WOBBLY BRIDGE.

Dan says THE WOBBLY BRIDGE, YES

VINDICATED!
BUT SERIOUSLY, YOU WOULD OBJECT,
DID OBJECT, TO THAT BRIDGE?

Robert Crouch says YES; MUCH
MORE VENOMOUSLY IN THE PAST,
BUT WE STILL SAY, YOU DON'T
NEED ANOTHER BRIDGE THERE.
[Dan laughing]

(music plays)
An aerial view of the Westminster Bridge appears on screen. Vehicles cross the bridge and boats sail along the river in different directions. Then, a view of the bridge from the riverbank appears on screen. The water gently hits the pebbles lying on the floor.

Dan says IT WAS ONLY IN 1736,
AFTER CENTURIES OF ARGUMENT,
THAT PARLIAMENT AGREED TO A
BRIDGE AT WESTMINSTER.
UNDER THE ACT, THE WATERMEN GOT
25,000 pound COMPENSATION, THE
EQUIVALENT TODAY OF MORE THAN
2 MILLION pounds.
WHEN WESTMINSTER BRIDGE
OFFICIALLY OPENED IN 1750,
LONDON WAS TRANSFORMED ONCE
AGAIN.
THE THAMES HAD BEEN A KIND OF
MOAT PROTECTING THE CITY.
NOW, ALL THAT CHANGED.
THE COMMERCIAL AND POLITICAL
POWERS NORTH OF THE RIVER -
ONCE REPRESENTED MAINLY BY THE
CHURCH - NOW TOOK CHARGE ACROSS
THE RIVER.

Dan now walks along the Westminster Bridge among other people during a sunny day. The Palace of Westminster and the Big Ben appear in the background.

Dan says AND SO STARTED THE DRAMATIC
TRANSFORMATION OF THE SOUTH
BANK OF THE THAMES.
TRADITIONALLY, THE SOUTH BANK
HAD BEEN A PLACE INDEPENDENT OF
THE CITY ON THE NORTH BANK, A
PLACE FREE OF THE CITY'S
CONTROLS AND STATUTES.
IT WAS, I SUPPOSE, A LAND OF
LIBERTY AND LIBERTINES.
THERE WERE THEATRES, BEAR
BAITING PITS, BROTHELS, MARKET
GARDENS, AND PLEASURE GROUNDS.
BUT NOW, IT BECAME SOMETHING
QUITE DIFFERENT.
IT BECAME, IN A WAY, A PROVINCE
OF THE NORTH BANK OF THE
THAMES, LARGELY BECAUSE PERHAPS
IRONICALLY ONE OF THE MAJOR
LANDOWNERS AND DEVELOPERS OF
THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE THAMES
WAS THE CITY CORPORATION.

(music plays)
Fast clips show aerial views of Westminster. An obelisk lying in the centre of a roundabout and an old map of the city appear on screen. Then, the screen shows aerial views of Richmond Bridge surrounded by big houses and parks.

Dan says THE CITY AND THE BRIDGE HOUSE
ESTATE OWNED LAND ACROSS THE
RIVER, WHICH JUMPED IN VALUE
ONCE WESTMINSTER AND THEN
BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE WERE BUILT.
AND THE OBELISK THEY ERECTED
HERE - PLANNED TO BE THE FOCUS
OF A GRAND, NEW URBAN DISTRICT
MARKS THE CENTRE OF THEIR
HOLDINGS.
AS A RESULT OF THE NEW BRIDGES,
LONDON NORTH AND SOUTH OF THE
RIVER HAD BECOME ONE GREAT
CITY.
THE NEW CROSSINGS WERE A
DISTINCTIVE PART OF WHAT WAS TO
BE THE ZENITH OF GEORGIAN
LONDON, BUT LIKE THE ROMAN AND
MEDIEVAL BRIDGES BEFORE THEM,
THEY TOO ARE NOW GHOSTS, SWEPT
AWAY BY DEVELOPMENT.
FLYING 14 MILES UPSTREAM,
HOWEVER, WE CAN EXPERIENCE
THEIR EFFECT.
RICHMOND BRIDGE - A CLASSIC
18th CENTURY MASONRY ARCHED
STRUCTURE - IS THE ONLY ONE OF
LONDON'S GEORGIAN BRIDGES TO
SURVIVE.
AND IT SITS IN A GREEN
RIVERSIDE LANDSCAPE, A
MIDDLE-CLASS SUBURB SURROUNDED
BY ARISTOCRATIC HOUSES AND
PARKS.
IT ALLOWS US A GLIMPSE OF WHAT
WESTMINSTER MIGHT HAVE BEEN
LIKE WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS NEW,
AND THE IDEA OF LONDON AS A
RIVER-CITY WAS AT ITS HEIGHT.

(music plays)
Now Dan stands in front of a bronze plaque on Westminster Bridge. The plaque shows a poem and reads “WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 1770 – 1850. Composed Upon Westminster Bridge – 3 September 1802.” As the narrator reads the poem, a colourful painting appears on screen. It depicts a scene with dozens of small wooden boats, sailing boats, barges, and other vessels sailing along the Thames under a blue sky. In the background, St. Paul’s Cathedral appears.
A caption on screen reads “Copyright, The Lobkowicz Collections, Czech Republic.”

Dan says EARLY ONE MORNING IN SEPTEMBER
1802, WILLIAM WORDSWORTH PASSED
ACROSS WESTMINSTER BRIDGE ON
THE TOP OF A COACH.
HE WAS INSPIRED BY WHAT HE SAW;
IT WAS A VISION.
HE WROTE A POEM, AND THE POEM
IN A MOST CHARMING WAY IS HERE,
ON THIS BRONZE PLATE UPON
WESTMINSTER BRIDGE.

Wordsworth says “EARTH HAS NOT
ANYTHING TO SHOW MORE FAIR; DULL
WOULD HE BE OF SOUL WHO COULD
PASS BY, A SIGHT SO TOUCHING IN
ITS MAJESTY.
THIS CITY NOW DOTH LIKE A
GARMENT WEAR, THE BEAUTY OF THE
MORNING...
SHIPS, TOWERS, DOMES, THEATRES,
AND TEMPLES LIE, OPEN UNTO THE
FIELDS, AND TO THE SKY.”

Dan says STANDING HERE, I CAN
SEE THE CITY AS WORDSWORTH SAW
IT.
IT HAUNTS MY IMAGINATION,
GEORGIAN LONDON - ONE OF THE
GREATEST URBAN CREATIONS EVER
ACHIEVED BY MANKIND, I ARGUE.
AND TO THINK THAT FROM HERE,
THAT GREAT CITY UNFOLDED ITSELF
TO WORDSWORTH IN A WAY HE COULD
NOT RESIST.

(music plays)
Different images of bridges across the Thames flash by. Then, the screen moves away from the Thames to show the city expanding in all directions. A portrait paining of John Rennie appears on screen.

Dan says WORDSWORTH'S POEM WAS ACTUALLY
A SWAN SONG FOR GEORGIAN
LONDON.
BETWEEN 1750 AND 1850, NINE
BRIDGES WERE THROWN ACROSS THE
THAMES.
BUT DESPITE THIS, THE CITY
BEGAN TO TURN ITS BACK ON THE
WATER, AS A POPULATION OF MORE
THAN TWO-AND-A-HALF MILLION
PUSHED FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY
FROM THE RIVERBANKS.
LONDON WAS FAST BECOMING AN
INDUSTRIAL MEGACITY.
IT NEEDED RAPID TRANSIT, AND
BRIDGE BUILDERS, LIKE JOHN
RENNIE.
RENNIE BUILT THREE GREAT
BRIDGES, SOUTHWARK BRIDGE,
WATERLOO BRIDGE, AND A NEW
LONDON BRIDGE.
BUT SADLY, NONE OF THEM
SURVIVE.
SO, LIKE OLD LONDON BRIDGE,
YOU HAVE TO SEARCH FOR RENNIE'S
BRIDGE.

(music plays)
Dan walks along the streets of London at night. He appears under a tunnel-like construction. Lights hang from the ceiling all along it. As Dan describes what he sees, detailed images flash by on screen. Then, the screen shows a painting depicting the construction of a bridge across the Thames and an old black-and-white picture showing a crowd of people on Rennie’s London Bridge as a boat sails under one of its arches. Then, the same bridge appears in another location surrounded by palm trees.

Dan says THIS IS PART OF THE SOUTHERN
APPROACH TO RENNIE'S LONDON
BRIDGE.
IT'S A FRAGMENT THAT OFFERS A
GLIMPSE OF THE CHARACTER, OF
THE POWER, OF THE WHOLE
REMINDER OF THE ARCHITECTURAL
AND ENGINEERING WONDER THAT
WE'VE LOST.
I LOVE THE BOLD, CLASSICAL
CORNICE AND THE TREMENDOUSLY
STRONG GRANITE WALLING.
IT ALL HAS A ROMAN SOLIDITY AND
GRANDEUR.
Dan says RENNIE'S NEW LONDON BRIDGE WAS
HIS FINAL WORK.
IT WAS BUILT ALONGSIDE THE
MEDIEVAL BRIDGE.
NEW ROADS HAD TO BE BUILT.
MUCH DEMOLITION WAS CARRIED OUT
AND THE HISTORIC STREET PLAN OF
LONDON WAS CHANGED.
AND ALTHOUGH TO MY MIND IT
NEVER RIVALLED THE MEDIEVAL
BRIDGE, IT TOO BECAME A
SIGNATURE OF THE CITY, FAMOUS
ENOUGH TO BE DISMANTLED AND
SOLD TO RICH AMERICANS IN THE
1960s.
THE WHOLE STRUCTURE WAS REBUILT
STONE BY STONE TO GRACE A
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE
ARIZONA DESERT.

(music plays)
A night view of The Westminster Bridge appears on screen. A group of men row along the Thames. The Big Ben, the bridge, the London Eye, and other buildings stand out illuminated in the background as the rowers advance. Dan sails with them.

A female voice sings I MUST BE GOING
NO LONGER STAYING
THE BURNING THAMES
I HAVE TO CROSS

Dan says THE NEW BRIDGES REDUCED
LONDONERS' RELIANCE ON THE
RIVER EVEN MORE.
ONCE IT WAS COMMON TO ROW ON
THE RIVER AT NIGHT, LIKE THIS.
NOT ANYMORE.
SUCCESS CAME WITH A PRICE.
THE 1840s AND '50s WERE GRIM
YEARS IN LONDON'S HISTORY.
THE POPULATION OF THE CITY HAD
SWOLLEN; LONDON'S
INFRASTRUCTURE COULDN'T COPE
WITH THE MEGACITY LONDON HAD
BECOME.
THE RIVER WAS FILTHY, POLLUTED
WITH SEWAGE AND INDUSTRIAL
WASTE; IT WAS POISONING
LONDONERS.
IT WAS KILLING THEM IN THEIR
TENS OF THOUSANDS.
WATER-BORNE DISEASES LIKE
CHOLERA WAS RIFE.
THE CITY WAS POISONING THE
WELLS OF LONDON AND KILLING ITS
POPULATION.
THE BRIDGES SHARED IN THE
SICKNESS.
WATERLOO BRIDGE BECAME
NOTORIOUS FOR SUICIDES,
PARTICULARLY FOR DESPAIRING
WOMEN JUMPING FROM ITS
PARAPETS.
AND STATISTICS CONFIRM ITS
REPUTATION.
IN THE 1840s, ABOUT 15 PERCENT
OF LONDON'S SUICIDES JUMPED
FROM WATERLOO BRIDGE.
THIS ASPECT OF LONDON'S BRIDGES
AND THE THAMES AS THEATRES OF
DEATH IS ETCHED INTO OUR
LITERATURE.
IN CHARLES DICKENS' “OUR
MUTUAL FRIEND” ESSENTIALLY A
NOVEL ABOUT THE RIVER AND RIVER
LIFE - STARTS THE STORY WITH
THESE CHARACTERS FISHING IN THE
THAMES FOR CORPSES, A VALUABLE
COMMODITY.

(music plays)
The screen shows the London skyline standing out in the dark night. In the foreground, a bridge crossing over the Thames appears. Then, fast clips of the Thames and the bridges crossing it flash by. It’s daytime again and Dan stands in front of a bust. A plaque reads “Sir JOSEPH BAZALGETTE – Engineer of the London Main Drainage System.”

Dan says LONDON HAD NOW BECOME THE
CAPITAL OF A WORLD EMPIRE, THE
LARGEST, RICHEST, AND MOST
POWERFUL CITY IN THE WORLD; AND
YET IT WAS AWASH WITH DISEASE
AND POVERTY.
SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE.
THE SOLUTION WAS A BRUTAL
TAMING OF THE THAMES ITSELF, AN
EMBANKMENT WHICH CONTAINED NOT
JUST A GIANT NEW SEWER, BUT A
RAILWAY LINE AS WELL.
IT WAS THE WORK OF ONE LONDON'S
GREAT ENGINEERS, JOSEPH
BAZALGETTE.
I'M STANDING ON THE VICTORIA
EMBANKMENT.
IN FRONT OF ME AND ABOVE ME IS
THE HUNGERFORD BRIDGE.
BELOW ME IS BAZALGETTE'S MIGHTY
SEWER, THE UNDERGROUND RAILWAY,
A GAS MAINS, AND A TELEGRAPH
CABLE.
THIS WAS AND REMAINS
SPECTACULAR ENGINEERING.
WHEN COMPLETED, LONDON WOULD
NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.

(music plays)
The facade of Somerset house appears on screen. Fast clips show buildings by the river, people walking along the river wall, and aerial views of London. An intricately carved stone water gate lies in a small square surrounded by buildings. A painting appears on screen. It depicts dozens of boats sailing along the Thames near the harbour.

Dan says THIS WAS THE DEATH KNELL OF THE
RIVERSIDE, ALMOST
VENETIAN-LOOKING, LONDON.
GRAND BUILDINGS LIKE SOMERSET
HOUSE ONCE HAD SPECTACULAR
WATER GATES WHERE, AT HIGH
TIDE, PEOPLE AND GOODS COULD
ARRIVE BY BOAT.
BUT BAZALGETTE BUILT A VAST
WALL TO SEPARATE THE RIVER FROM
THE CITY.
INSIDE IT, 22 ACRES OF LAND
WERE RECLAIMED, PUSHING THE
RIVER BACK IN PLACES BY MORE
THAN 100 METRES.
THIS 17th CENTURY WATER GATE IS
THE LAST SURVIVING RELIC OF THE
OLD WATERFRONT, AND IS NOW
MAROONED ON THE EDGE OF
EMBANKMENT GARDENS.
YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE IT IN THIS
PAINTING, WHICH SHOWS JUST HOW
SPLENDID THE GEORGIAN
WATERFRONT MUST HAVE BEEN.
SAFER TRANSPORT AND CLEANER
WATER CAME WITH A COST.

(music plays)
Now Dan sits on a bench in a park. People walk past him. Fast clips show the traffic on the London roads and the facade of Somerset house.

Dan says THE LEGACY HAS BEEN REALLY
RATHER APPALLING.
IT'S CUT OFF THE RIVER FROM THE
LIFE OF LONDON, AND THE GREAT
RIVERSIDE BOULEVARD MAY HAVE
LOOKED WONDERFUL JUST FULL OF
HORSE-DRAWN TRAFFIC AND
PEDESTRIANS - IS NOW A NOISY
AND POLLUTED, URBAN MOTORWAY.
AND THE BUILDINGS THAT ONCE
ROSE FROM THE RIVER - LIKE SOME
OF THE TOWERS BEHIND ME - LIKE
PALACES IN VENICE NOW RISE FROM
SWATHES OF TRAFFIC.
SO, REALLY, THE EMBANKMENTS
HAD A TERRIBLE EFFECT ON THE
CITY.
IT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY LONDONERS IN A WAY
HAVE FORGOTTEN THE WONDERS AND
BEAUTY OF THE RIVER.

(music plays)
An aerial view of Hammersmith Bridge appears on screen. Detailed images of its structure and artisanship flash by as Dan speaks. Then, he stands on the river wall as he looks at the bridge from the side.

Dan says NONETHELESS, VICTORIAN
MODERNITY STILL HAD ITS
TRIUMPHS.
HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE, IN THE
WESTERN SUBURBS, IS ONE OF
THEM.
IT IS ONE OF THREE BUILT BY THE
SAME JOSEPH BAZALGETTE.
UNSURPRISINGLY, CONSTRUCTION AT
HAMMERSMITH EMPLOYED THE LATEST
TECHNOLOGY.
IT'S A SUSPENSION BRIDGE WITH
THE ROADWAY SUPPORTED FROM
ABOVE, RATHER THAN BELOW,
UNLIKE TRADITIONAL ARCHED
BRIDGES.
THE ROAD HANGS FROM WROUGHT
IRON CABLES STRUNG OVER CAST
IRON TOWERS WITH EACH END
ANCHORED FIRMLY IN THE GROUND.
IT'S WONDERFUL LOOKING AT THE
BRIDGE; IT'S A REAL WINDOW INTO
MID-VICTORIAN LONDON - THE
ENGINEERING, OF COURSE, THE
EPITOME OF VICTORIAN
ENGINEERING; A COMBINATION OF
BEAUTY AND OF INCREDIBLE
STRENGTH.
CAST IRON, VERY STRONG, AS I
SAY, IN COMPRESSION.
PUSHING DOWN, VERY STRONG, THUS
PERFECT FOR THE SUSPENSION
TOWERS, BUT THE CHAINS, OF
COURSE, THEY HAVE TO BE A BIT
MORE ELASTIC, SO THEY HAVE A
TENSILE STRENGTH, AND HENCE
WROUGHT IRON IS USED.
SO, DOESN'T SEEM MUCH TO THE
CASUAL OBSERVER, BUT A LOT OF
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY GOING ON
HERE.
FUNCTIONAL, STRONG; ALSO,
BEAUTIFUL.
AND IN CAST IRON, OF COURSE,
YOU CAN CAST LOVELY DETAIL;
HENCE THE SUSPENSION TOWERS
HAVING THIS CLASSICAL DETAIL AT
THE TOP - THE CORNICES AND
VARIOUS ACANTHUS LEAVES,
RATHER WONDERFUL MOULDINGS.
SO, EVERY TIME YOU LOOK AT THIS
BRIDGE, YOU CAN READ MORE INTO
IT AND UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT
THE WONDER OF THE ENGINEERING
IN VICTORIAN LONDON.
IT'S A COMPLETE VICTORIAN
PIECE, ONE OF LONDON'S BEST
BRIDGES.
I LOVE IT.

(music plays)
An aerial view shows Hammersmith Bridge during a sunny day. Vehicles drive along it, a boat sails under it, and the trees along the riverbank cast their shadows on the water surface. A sign on the bridge structure reads “1887.” Then, Dan shows the bridge’s green and gold ornamentation. As he describes part of it, close-up pictures flash by on screen.

Dan says BAZALGETTE'S TRIUMPH AT
HAMMERSMITH WAS COMMISSIONED BY
THE NEWLY CREATED METROPOLITAN
BOARD OF WORKS.
THE BOARD WAS THE FIRST OVERALL
GOVERNMENT FOR THE NEW
VICTORIAN MEGACITY.
IN 1869, IT HAD TAKEN OVER ALL
THE PRIVATE BRIDGES ACROSS THE
THAMES AND ABOLISHED ALL THE
REMAINING TOLLS.
AND IT WAS DETERMINED TO
PROCLAIM ITS AUTHORITY.
I LOVE THE ORNAMENT ON THIS
BRIDGE, THE ICONOGRAPHY - IT'S
SO REVEALING.
LOOK, FOR EXAMPLE, AT THIS
WONDERFUL PIECE OF HERALDRY, I
SUPPOSE, BEHIND ME.
IN THE MIDDLE IS A ROYAL COAT
OF ARMS; TO THE LEFT, THE ARMS
OF THE CITY OF LONDON; TO THE
RIGHT, THE ARMS OF THE CITY OF
WESTMINSTER.
BUT ALSO, THE ARMS OF KENT, OF
SURREY, OF MIDDLESEX, AND OF
ESSEX.
THIS BRIDGE REALLY DEFINES
LONDON AS IT WAS IN THE LATE
19th CENTURY.
IT ALSO REVEALS THE POWER OF
BRIDGE BUILDING.
LONDON WAS NO LONGER SIMPLY A
CITY; IT WAS A CITY-STATE.

(music plays)
Aerial views of London appear on screen. Then, Dan stands on the river wall. Boats sail along the Thames and the 30 St Mary Axe appears in the further background.

Dan says BY THE 1890s, BAZALGETTE AND
THE BOARD OF WORKS HAD SHAPED
THE CITY, PREPARING IT FOR THE
20th CENTURY AND WITH IT THE
CLIMAX OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
THE CITY OF MORE THAN FIVE
MILLION PEOPLE STRETCHED DOWN
BOTH BANKS OF THE THAMES.
BUT FOR MORE THAN HALF THAT
DISTANCE - FROM LONDON BRIDGE
TO THE SEA - THERE WERE STILL
NO BRIDGES, JUST DANGEROUS AND
EXPENSIVE TUNNELS.
THEY WERE DUG BECAUSE, DESPITE
ALL THE CHANGES, LONDON WAS
STILL A PORT - INDEED, IT WAS
THE GREATEST PORT CITY IN THE
WORLD - AND A BRIDGE WOULD
PREVENT BIG SHIPS FROM COMING
UPSTREAM.
THE DOCKS DOWNSTREAM - WEST
INDIA DOCK, ST. KATHARINE'S
DOCK - HAD BEEN CONSTRUCTED IN
THE EARLY 19th CENTURY.
BUT, IN THE LATE 19th CENTURY,
LONDON'S TRADITIONAL PORT, THE
POOL OF LONDON OVER THERE,
STILL FUNCTIONED, WITH SHIPS
MOORED SEVERAL DEEP INTO THE
THAMES - SOME ALMOST AS LARGE
AS H.M.S. BELFAST OVER THERE.
SO, ANY CROSSING OF THE THAMES
DOWNSTREAM FROM HERE HAD TO
ALLOW THE LARGEST OF SHIPS
STILL TO REACH THE POOL.

(music plays)
The screen now shows different illustrations of designs. Then, the Tower Bridge appears on screen as its drawbridge slowly elevates. Dan appears inside the machine room. Images of the mechanism that elevates the drawbridge flash by on screen. Then, Dan steps into a room with a heavy metallic white structure as the ceiling.

Dan says EVERYBODY HAD THEIR OWN IDEA OF
HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
TWO ARCHITECTS CONTRIBUTED
DIFFERENT SWING BRIDGE PLANS.
ANOTHER CONTEMPLATED A TUNNEL
UNDER THE THAMES.
YET ANOTHER HOPED TO BUILD A
TRANSPORTER BRIDGE, WHICH
LIFTED PEOPLE AND TRAFFIC HIGH
ENOUGH TO LET THE SHIPS
THROUGH.
BUT THE WINNING PLAN RETURNED
TO A FEATURE OF THE LEGENDARY
MEDIEVAL CROSSING, A
DRAWBRIDGE.
THE COMPLETED TOWER BRIDGE
DEPLOYED A VAST HYDRAULIC
SYSTEM POWERED BY STEAM ENGINES
TO PIVOT THE ENTIRE ROADWAY TO
LET SHIPS SAIL THROUGH.
IN THE BOWELS OF THE STRUCTURE,
THE SCALE OF IT ALL BECOMES
CLEAR.
THIS VAST, CAVERNOUS SPACE IS A
BASCULE CHAMBER BELOW THE SOUTH
TOWER.
WATER LEVEL IS ROUGHLY HERE,
AND ABOVE ME IS THE UNDERSIDE
OF THE ROADWAY.
YOU CAN HEAR TRAFFIC ECHOING -
QUITE UNCANNY.
EVERYTHING THAT'S PAINTED WHITE
MOVES, SO WHEN THE TOWER BRIDGE
ROADWAY GOES UP, THE WHITE
ELEMENT HERE - THAT'S THE
COUNTER WEIGHT - COMES DOWN TO
OCCUPY THIS SPACE.
MUST BE VERY SCARY TO SEE THAT.
AMAZING.
OF COURSE, THIS A BRIDGE LIKE
NO OTHER IN LONDON; THIS IS A
MOVING BRIDGE, A LIVING BRIDGE,
IN A SENSE, WITH A CREW OF
PEOPLE IN CONTROL ROOMS,
MACHINERY OPERATING IT.
LIVING, VIBRATING, ALMOST
SPEAKING; I CAN HEAR IT!

(music plays)
Now Dan appears inside one of the towers of London Bridge. Above him, a steel structure appears. The screen shows details of it as Dan speaks. He opens a small window, looks at the tower in front, and describes what he sees. The flag of England and the Union Jack wave on two poles.

Dan says BUT ALL THIS ENGINEERING
EXPERTISE WAS INVISIBLE IN THE
COMPLETED BRIDGE.
INSTEAD, THE ARCHITECTURE WAS
DELIBERATELY DESIGNED TO MERGE
WITH THE TOWER OF LONDON NEXT
DOOR.
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
ASTONISHING THINGS ABOUT TOWER
BRIDGE.
IT'S NOT A GOTHIC STRUCTURE
BUILT OUT OF STONE, BUT IT'S A
STEEL FRAME STRUCTURE OF MODERN
BUILDING.
AND THROUGH THIS WINDOW, YOU
CAN SEE EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN.
I'M LOOKING AT THE COMPANION
TOWER TO THIS ONE, OUTSIDE ALL
OF THIS WONDERFUL TUDOR, GOTHIC
FINIALS, LOVELY ORNAMENTAL
DETAILS, ALL DESIGNED TO FIT IN
WITH THE ANCIENT TOWER OF
LONDON, ALL HISTORY.
AND IN HERE, ALL IS MODERN AND
STEEL - A FUNCTIONAL BUILDING.
VERY STRONG, VERY, VERY, I SAY,
ALMOST BRUTALLY HONEST IN ITS
CONSTRUCTION INSIDE.
OUTSIDE, ALL IS ORNAMENT,
HISTORY, BEAUTY, PEDIGREE -
EVOCATION OF DREAMS AND A PAST.

(music plays)
The screen shows the Tower Bridge from the river wall. Stalactites hanging from a statue thaw in the sunlight. Then, a painting of the old London Bridge and an aerial view of Tower Bridge appear on screen.

Dan says HIDING THE BRUTE, FUNCTIONAL
REALITIES BEHIND A GOTHIC
FACADE MAY HAVE BEEN A TRIUMPH
OF LATE VICTORIAN GENTEEL
PROPRIETY.
BUT THE EFFECT WAS TO CREATE A
SENSE OF IMMEMORIAL AGE, THAT
IT HAD ALWAYS BEEN THERE.
OLD LONDON BRIDGE, WITH ITS
HOUSES AND SHOPS, HAD BEEN A
UNIQUE ICON OF LONDON.
NOW, THE CITY HAD FOUND ITS
SUCCESSOR, TOWER BRIDGE, THE
IMPERIAL CITY'S GATEWAY TO THE
MASSIVE DOCKS DOWNSTREAM AND
ITS VAST EMPIRE BEYOND.

(music plays)
Now Dan appears on deck in a boat. He wears a life jacket and stands next to rolls of rope. The boat slowly sails along the Thames moving away from the Tower Bridge during a grey day. As a narrator reads a passage by T. S. Elliot, fast clips show aerial views of London, boats sailing along the Thames reflecting the sunlight, and bridges across the river.

Dan says AFTER 150 YEARS OF FRANTIC
BRIDGE BUILDING, LONDON HAD
REINVENTED ITSELF.
AFTER SO MUCH VICTORIAN AND
EDWARDIAN BRITAIN, LONDON'S
BRIDGES WERE SORT OF STEEPED IN
NOSTALGIA, INSTANTLY HISTORIC.
LOOK AT TOWER BRIDGE - UTTERLY
AMAZING.
NOW, THERE WAS TO BE A CENTURY
OF QUIET ON LONDON'S RIVER,
APART FROM TWO BRIDGES BUILT
FAR UPSTREAM - A QUIET THAT
SEEMED TIMELESS, AS T.S. ELIOT
OBSERVED, AS HE, LIKE ME,
SLIPPED QUIETLY DOWNSTREAM IN
“THE WASTELAND.”
(music plays)

T.S. Eliot says “THE RIVER SWEATS
OIL AND TAR, THE BARGES DRIFT
WITH THE TURNING TIDE, RED
SAILS, WIDE TO LEEWARD, SWING
ON THE HEAVY SPAR.
THE BARGES WASH DRIFTING LOGS
DOWN GREENWICH REACH, PAST THE
ISLE OF DOGS.”

An aerial view of Dartford Bridge appears on screen. Boats sail along the river leaving a wake behind. Then, Dan stands on a harbour and he looks at the bridge as he describes it. Close up-pictures of the bridge’s structure flash by.

Dan says BY THE END OF THE 20th
CENTURY, THE VAST SPRAWL OF
GREATER LONDON MEANT TRAVELLERS
NOW HAD TO BE ABLE TO GO ROUND
IT AS WELL AS THROUGH IT.
BY THE TIME THIS HEROIC BRIDGE
AT DARTFORD WAS COMPLETED IN
1991, CARRYING THE ORBITAL
MOTORWAY ACROSS THE THAMES,
ENGINEERING HAD MOVED INTO A
NEW LEAGUE.
BETWEEN THE TOWERS IS THREE
TIMES AS LONG AS OLD LONDON
BRIDGE, AND RUNS 57 METRES
ABOVE THE WATER.
IT'S AMONG THE LARGEST BRIDGES
OF ITS KIND IN THE WORLD.
DARTFORD'S A CABLE-STAYED
BRIDGE.
THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS A
SUSPENSION BRIDGE.
HERE, THE FORCES, THE LOADS
TRAVEL UP THE CABLES AND THEN
DIRECTLY DOWN THE TOWERS;
UNLIKE THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE,
WHERE THEY'RE ANCHORED ON EACH
BANK.
THIS IS A MORE STABLE DESIGN;
IT ALLOWS THE CREATION OF
VASTLY WIDE AND HIGH SPANS.
THIS IS A BRIDGE THAT'S MAKING
A STATEMENT.
WHAT'S IT SAYING?
WELL, IT'S PROCLAIMING THAT THE
WHOLE OF THE THAMES ESTUARY
BELONGS TO LONDON.
CROSSING THE THAMES FAR
DOWNSTREAM FROM THE HISTORIC
CITY, DARTFORD BRIDGE DEFINES
LONDON AS BEING LARGER THAN
EVER, A CITY-STATE WITHIN
SOUTHEAST ENGLAND.

(music plays)
An aerial view shows vehicles driving along the Dartford Bridge. Dan appears inside a car. As he speaks, he looks at both sides of the bridge. Then, as the sun shines high in the sky, a view of the bridge from the riverbank appears on screen.

Dan says THE CLAIMS OF THE BOARD OF
WORKS, AS DISPLAYED AT
HAMMERSMITH FAR UPSTREAM, NOW
SEEM VINDICATED.
HERE, YOU REALLY DO UNDERSTAND
THE NATURE OF THIS BRIDGE; IT
DOES COMMAND THE ESTUARY.
IT IS THIS GREAT GATE.
THE APPROACH TO LONDON IS HERE,
NOW; THE CITY OVER THERE, THE
SEA OVER THERE.
SHIPS COME AND GO.
MY GOODNESS ME, I CAN JUST ABOUT
SEE THE TOWERS OF CANARY WHARF.
BUT HOWEVER MAGNIFICENT THE
BRIDGE IS IN ITSELF, HOWEVER
MODERN, IT DOESN'T ERASE THE
ECHOES OF THE PAST THAT SO
INTRIGUED JOSEPH CONRAD SAYS.

(music plays)
Now Dan appears on screen as he walks along the riverbank by the wetlands. Images of the bridge from the riverbank flash by. Seagulls cry in the distance and Dan stops in front of a pile of pebbles surrounded by weeds. He picks up and object, shows it, and describes it as the sun sets in the background.

Dan says I'M ABOUT 15 MILES DOWNSTREAM
FROM THE POOL OF LONDON, WHERE
EVERYTHING STARTED AROUND 2,000
YEARS AGO.
THERE, OF COURSE, THINGS HAVE
CHANGED MANY TIMES, BUT HERE
AND PLACES LIKE THIS, IT FEELS,
WELL, SURELY MUCH AS IT DID
WHEN THE ROMAN TRIREMES PASSED
BY.
THIS IS A STRANGE LOCATION,
SEEMINGLY LOST BETWEEN WORLDS.
A VERY ODD PLACE INDEED, AN
EDGY FRONTIER, YET EMERGING
FROM THE PRIMORDIAL OOZE AND
MUD AND THE SLIME AND THE
REEDS, MUCH AS LONDON EMERGED
ALL THOSE CENTURIES BEFORE.
AH, THIS IS WHY I LOVE THE
THAMES.
IT CARRIES MEMORIES OF ALL THE
PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRAVELLED ON IT
OR HAVE LIVED BESIDE IT.
LOOK, HERE, BITS OF POTTERY,
PORCELAIN, EARTHENWARE.
LOOK AT THIS LOVELY, DELICATE
HANDLE FROM A TEACUP, I
SUPPOSE.
BEAUTIFUL; SUCH AN INTIMATE
CONNECTION WITH THE PERSON THAT
OWNED IT, LOVED IT, LOST IT.
THAT'S WHAT'S SO INCREDIBLE
ABOUT THIS PLACE, THAT IT'S A
LIVING CONNECTION WITH THE
GHOSTS OF THE PAST.
YOU STAND HERE; ONE FINDS AND
CONNECTS AND REMEMBERS.

(music plays)
An aerial view shows people walking along a narrow bridge over the Thames. A sign on its structure appears on screen. It reads “Millennium Bridge.” Fast clips show images of the bridge from above, below, and from the sides, focusing on details of the structure. Then, Dan walks along the as he speaks. In the background, The Shard appears. Further back, a series of bridges crossing the Thames ending in the Tower Bridge.

Dan says BY A.D. 2,000, LONDON HAD
LIVED THROUGH NEARLY TWENTY
CENTURIES OF ITS OWN HISTORY,
AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO
CELEBRATE THAT HISTORY THAN
WITH A BRIDGE.
BUT NOT A GIANT, A JEWEL; ONE
DESIGNED NOT FOR TRANSPORT, BUT
FOR HUMAN DELIGHT.
A PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE THAT OPENED
UP A NEW WAY THROUGH THE CITY,
AND, IN A NOD TO ITS NOBLE
FOREBEARS, A SPIRITUAL BRIDGE
POINTING DIRECTLY TO LONDON'S
CATHEDRAL, ST. PAUL'S.
ALTHOUGH IT SUFFERED TEETHING
TROUBLES, THE DESIGN - BY
ENGINEERS OF ARUP, ARCHITECT
NORMAN FOSTER, AND EVEN A
SCULPTOR, ANTHONY CARO - IS A
WORK OF ART.
THIS BRIDGE HAS REDEFINED
LONDON ONCE AGAIN.
BY CREATING A NEW LINK ACROSS
THE THAMES, IT'S BROUGHT ADDED
LIFE TO SOUTHWARK IN FRONT OF ME
AND THE CITY BEHIND ME.
IT'S CREATED A WONDERFUL
CONNECTION BETWEEN TATE MODERN
UP THERE AND ST. PAUL'S
CATHEDRAL.
DOESN'T IT LOOK ABSOLUTELY
FANTASTIC?
ALSO, THE BRIDGE HAS CREATED A
SPECTACULAR VIEW OF VISTAS OF
THE CITY.
FROM HERE, I CAN SEE AN ARRAY
OF BRIDGES TO THE LEFT AND TO
THE RIGHT, WONDERFUL.
TOWER BRIDGE OVER THERE IN THE
DISTANCE.
BUT ALSO, A WONDERFUL OBJECT;
LOVELY TO WALK ACROSS IT,
LOVELY TO EXPLORE IT, TO TOUCH
IT, AND TO LOOK AT IT.
REMINDS ME IN A WAY OF OTHER
GREAT PEDESTRIAN BRIDGES AROUND
THE WORLD - THE RIALTO BRIDGE
IN VENICE, FOR EXAMPLE; ALSO
EXQUISITE.
IT, OF COURSE, IS LINED WITH
SHOPS, A LOVELY, LIVING THING,
THE RIALTO BRIDGE.
IT PUTS ME IN MIND OF INHABITED
BRIDGES.
I WONDER IF LONDON COULD EVER
RECAPTURE THE GLORY OF OLD
LONDON BRIDGE WITH HOUSES?
COULD THERE BE A NEW INHABITED
BRIDGE IN LONDON?
PERHAPS, PERHAPS; I HOPE SO.

(music plays)
Fast clips show people walking along a bridge, archaeologists brushing wooden piles partially submerged in the river, and aerial views of London.

Dan says PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BUILDING
BRIDGES IN LONDON FOR 3,000
YEARS AND MORE, AND THOSE
EXTRAORDINARY STRUCTURES HAVE
DEFINED THE CITY.
FROM THE BEGINNING, THEY WERE
SITES OF PRIMAL, SPIRITUAL
POWER, AS MAN ATTEMPTED TO TAME
AND HARNESS THE BRUTE FORCES OF
NATURE, BUT THEY'VE ALSO SHAPED
LONDON'S ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL
DOMINANCE.
ONCE A PERMANENT BRIDGE WAS
BUILT, WEALTH AND POWER FOUND
THEIR WAY TO LONDON, AND WITH
THEM, THE TALENTS OF MILLIONS
OF PEOPLE.
AND SO, THESE CROSSINGS BECAME
NOT ONLY A VEHICLE FOR ROYAL
AND POLITICAL DISPLAY, THEY
HELPED LONDON BECOME, TO MY
MIND, THE GREATEST CITY IN THE
WORLD.

(music plays)
Dan leans over the river wall and looks at the Millennium Bridge. As the clouds cover the sun shining high in the sky, boats sail under the bridge and people walk along it.

Dan says THERE WILL BE NEW BRIDGES AND
DIFFERENT LONDONS IN THE
FUTURE.
EVEN NOW, A CABLE CAR BRIDGE IS
BEING BUILT DOWNSTREAM AT THE
DOCKS.
THAT, LIKE THIS BRIDGE, CAN
ONLY BE A GOOD THING TO HELP
LONDONERS REGAIN THE PLEASURES
OF THE THAMES.
AND ONLY THROUGH THE THAMES AND
ITS BRIDGES CAN YOU GRASP THE
TRUE NATURE OF LONDON AND
UNDERSTAND THOSE DIVERSE PEOPLE
COSTERMONGERS AND KINGS,
WARRIORS AND MERCHANTS - WHO
HAVE MADE LONDON THE FANTASTIC
CITY IT IS.

Music plays and the credits roll as the screen shows aerial views of the Thames and its bridges.

Presented by Dan Cruickshank.

Sound, Bob Barrow and Paul Kennedy.

Dubbing Mixer, John Cobban.

Editor, Bill Gill.

Production Manager, Diane Dunbar.

Executive Producer for BBC, Sam Anthony.

Executive Producer for Tern, Harry Bell.

Produced and Directed by David Wilson.

The end slate shows the logo of Tern for BBC Scotland.

Distributed by DRG.

Copyright 2012, Tern Television.