Fancy seeing some really old English Heritage but you can’t go to the UK?
Not to worry, go to Arizona!
In Lake Havasu City in the State of Arizona you will find the London Bridge – not a replica, the actual bridge that once spanned across the River Thames in England. Lake Havasu City is situated relatively close to Las Vegas (NV) and Phoenix (AZ) and is based along the banks of the Colorado River.
The London Bridge, a History
The first and old London Bridge was built between 1176 and 1209 which replaced a wooden version. This old bridge had a rather stirring and bloody history as it was a gateway between 1305 and 1660 which served as display for severed heads of traitors, impaled on pikes and dipped in tar to protect them from the elements.
It survived for more than 600 years, but in the late 18th century the bridge was in need of replacement. John Rennie, a Scottish engineer, designed the new London Bridge in 1799 and its construction was completed in 1831.
The Big Move
By the early 20th century the new bridge had sunk a few inches, leaving one side of the bridge lower than the other. This was due to the heavy use of automotive traffic for which it was not designed.
In 1967, The Common Council of the City of London decided to look for potential buyers of the London Bridge, and they certainly found one. Robert P. McCulloch from Arizona, founder of Lake Havasu City and entrepreneur, bought it for a mere $2.4 million. McCulloch’s plan was to buy the bridge and ship it all the way to the USA. And thus, the London Bridge was dismantled and each and every stone numbered. It was then shipped across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal to California, from where it was trucked to Arizona. The bridge was rebuilt and officially opened in 1971. It now spans the Bridgewater Channel which is connected to Havasu Lake and Colorado River.
Since the Bridge came to Lake Havasu City, it’s been a popular tourist attraction in Arizona for visitors from all around the world. You can take a tour of the Bridge and spot old marks dating from WWII, such as graffiti and soot. It has been featured in several films as well, like the horror film “Bridge Across Time, aka Terror on the London Bridge”.
For a live webcam view, click here!
Featured image: By Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo 1: London Bridge by George Yates 1832, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=575979
Photo 2: By Charles O’Rear, 1941-, Photographer (NARA record: 3403717) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16527622