Make the most of London

 

Clattering Hooves Over London's Oldest Bridge

Posted by Susan Baker, City of London Tour Guide on Friday, May 22, 2020 Under: City of London

Clattering Hooves Over London's Oldest Bridge

In the most South-Western corner of Greater London is the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. Many people think of this area as just the suburbs, but there is a lot of historic interest here.


This shouldn’t really be too surprising. It is one of only three Royal boroughs in London – the other two being Kensington and Chelsea, and Greenwich. Just think of the name – it means King’s manor/estate. It was first mentioned in royal records in 838. In the tenth century it was the place of coronations of Saxon kings.


A Grade I listed ancient scheduled monument – a multi-span medieval bridge – in the centre of the town reminds us of its ancient roots. In fact, it is the oldest bridge still in use in Greater London. It doesn’t cross the Thames but a tributary – the Hogsmill River – just before it meets the Thames. The current bridge replaced an earlier Saxon wooden bridge in the late 12th century. It still retains some impressive medieval masonry – the stone part clearly visible in the photo. The red bricks and parapet are 18th century alterations when it was also widened from its original width of 8ft (2.5 metres). It was widened again in the 19th century. Even now it is still a busy road-bridge.


This ancient monument is known as the ‘Clattern Bridge’ referring to the clattering of horses’ hooves crossing it. The name has evolved over the centuries - in Saxon times it was known as the ‘Clatrung’ bridge, in medieval times ‘Claterynbrugge', then ‘the Clattering Bridge’ until its current name was adopted in 1852.


The bridge was where scolds were ducked in the river on a ducking stool right up to 1745 – when a large crowd watched the landlady of a local pub being punished. It is also reported that from Saxon times until 1867 every Shrove Tuesday two ‘football’ teams competed on the public highway to get the ball to either the bridge over the Thames or the Clattern Bridge. The authorities tried to suppress it due to the violence of the game. One of its other names, mob football, gives an idea of what it must have been like. However, they did not have much success - in 1798, after the Riot Act was read, the cavalry from nearby Hampton Court was sent for but they did not turn up as they were also playing football.

In : City of London 



comments powered by Disqus
 
Things to do in London (for Londoners)
Private group · 2,010 members
Join Group
We are so lucky to live in such a vibrant world city. Sometimes though, it's hard to find events off the tourist trail and experience the real Londo...
 

Tags

"online bookings' cpd #earthrise 1930s 50th a abbey afternoon afternoon tea ages alastair ancient and animals annie anniversary apps architecture arsenal art arts attack awards baker barbican bathhouses bazalgette beasts bishopsgate blitz bombers books breakfast brewery brick bridge britain british bronze age brunch burger burlesque buses cabaret cake canal canary carl carol caroline cathedral cemetery cenotaph chapman charles charlton cheap cheapside cheese childhood chips chiswick chocolate christmas church city city of london clerkenwell cocktails coffee concert corporate covent covent garden covid-19 crime cross crown cruise day december deptford dick dickens dinner do dock dockland museum dragons earth eat eating eats ecommerce edward edwin egypt end ernst event events exhibition exhibitions facebook fall family fantastic farringdon february festival film fire first fiscus food for francis free friars gallery galliard garden george georgian german germany gift great greenhithe greenwich group guided guides half hall halsk harry potter havering hoard hazel hidden highbury hill hilton history holloway homes hotel house how ian ianmcd ice cream icelandic iii in islington italian iv jack jack the ripper james jenny jewels joseph katharines kenneth kew gardens kids kidstours kings lambeth lane lewis lights limestone literature locations londinium london london bridge londoners lunch lutyens magnus market markets martyr maufe mayfair mcdiarmid medieval memorial middle modern montague monument moorgate mosaic murder museum museum of london docklands music musicals n7 national gallery national history museum ned newcomen news night of old street oliver open opera pancakes pandemic panoramic park parties pauls people photo photograhy photography photos pizza places plays plumstead podcast poetry pokemon poplar prince priory private tours pub public purbeck qe2 queen queenhithe quirky reid religion rembrandt renaissance restoration ripper river road rob roman roundhouse royal saga sculpture scupture second sewers siemens sir smartphone smith smithfields soap soho somme southbank southwark spitalfields spy squirrels ss st statue street subscription summer susan sydenham tate tea term thames thamesmeade the theatre thiepval things things to do thrifty thriftytheatre to tour tours tower travel truman tudor tumblety twelfth twist und underground update v&a ve victoria victorian victorian london viking vouchers wales walk walking walks wall war water werner wharf wheeler whitechapel wildlife willelm william wine winter wood woodland woolwich world wyatt 2019 2020

LONDON GUIDED WALKS:

LEARN MORE:

CONNECT WITH US:

USEFUL LINKS:

Site by Hazel  |  Photographs by Hazel or Ian