Putney Bridge

For a long time, anyone who wanted to cross the Thames at Putney had to use a ferry; and then, in 1729, an Act of Parliament was passed authorising the construction of a bridge.

Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Putney, it was a toll bridge, with a toll-collector at each side "with hats, and gowns of good substantial cloth of a deep blue colour, lined with blue shalloon, and carried staves with brass or copper heads". If you wanted to cross, you had to pay.

People were outraged - London Bridge was free, after all! Why should Putney Bridge be different? In 1730, bells had to be installed at each side of the bridge, so that one toll-collector could ring the other for help if people tried to barge past without paying.

Read more stories about rivers.

Read more stories about money.

Read more stories about the eighteenth century.

Read more stories about Putney.

Picture from Pre Grouping railway junction around Putney Bridge & Fulham, Railway Clearing House.
Story source: Edward Walford, Old and New London: Volume 6