It was destroyed by fire in the seventeenth century after collapsing in 1281 (because to ice damage), 1309, 1425, and 1437. Despite its Jenga-like nature, the medieval London Bridge (containing dwellings and stores) lasted 600 years before being dismantled in 1831.
The current London Bridge is a modern replacement built between 1831 and 1833. It stands 50 feet high and is made of Portland stone with an iron frame. The total length of the bridge is 710 feet, with the central portion being 366 feet long. It can be crossed by road vehicles, pedestrians, and horse-drawn carriages. There are also pedestrian tunnels under the main part of the bridge connecting the two banks of the River Thames.
Although it has been suggested that it fell due to war efforts, this is not confirmed. What is known is that it took more than 100 years to dismantle the old London Bridge so they could build the new one. During this time, many stories were told about what happened to the people who lived in the bridge. Some said that they went to heaven, some said hell, others jumped off into the river!
The truth will never be known but for those who wish it, the old London Bridge still exists under Water Lane in Southwark. If you go there today, you can see where the houses once stood and how far the water had come during floods.
Apart from that, it withstood one fire in 1633 and the Great Fire of London in 1666. In the late 1820s, it was ultimately dismantled and replaced by a modern bridge. That bridge was demolished in the early 1970s and sold to an American who, according to legend, thought he was purchasing Tower Bridge. He later disassembled it piece by piece and sent the parts to all 48 states plus Canada and Australia.
The rumor is true: Texas got Tower Bridge.
Tower Bridge was re-built in London and opened to traffic in 1973. It remains today a popular walking and cycling bridge across the River Thames between the City of London and Southwark.
In case you're wondering why there are no longer any towers standing at the London Bridge entrance - that's because they were removed in 1750 when the bridge was repaired after being damaged in the great storm of 1770. The stone used for the repair came from the walls of the old tower grounds.
After the bridge was rebuilt, the old tower gates were given as part of the marriage settlement for King George III's daughter Princess Amelia. They now form part of the entrance to the bridge from the City side.
Amelia's wedding gift was not an object of beauty but of power: a massive stone fortress that dominated the landscape and gave its name to the surrounding district.
The homes on the northern end of the bridge were destroyed by fire in 1633. Because the gap was only partially filled by new dwellings, there was a firebreak that kept the Great Fire of London (1666) from spreading to the remainder of the bridge and Southwark. The southern end remained intact because it was used as a site for public executions.
In the late 18th century, concerns about the stability of the bridge and its effect on the traffic flowing under it led to discussions about removing the houses from its face. In 1772, a report into the state of the bridge concluded that they could not be retained because they would impair its ability to carry traffic. The next year, the mayor issued orders to demolish all the houses on the north side of the river.
This decision was confirmed by an act of Parliament in 1774, which also granted permission for the demolition of the houses on the south side of the bridge. The last house was demolished in 1776.
After their removal, gaps were left in the middle of the bridge where the houses had stood. These were later filled with statues and other decorative items taken from the demolished houses.
One reason given for removing the houses was that they were an obstruction to the view from Westminster Palace across the River Thames to the city center. But this can't have been the only reason, since they were not attached to the bridge itself.