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The history of Bow Bridge -
which linked Middlesex to Essex, between Stratford-le-Bow and Stratford Langthorne.
The bridge at Bow, across the River Lea (now the river Lee) was built at the behest of Queen Matilda [Maud], wife of henry I, after a 'washing', the river water was not a good place to be drenched in, probably carrying diseases carried by rats [Weils disease], plus filled with the local excrement from the city.
The first stone bridge was built around 1110, and was replaced in 1838-39, The celebrated Bow Bridge, which here crossed the river Lea by three arches, was said to have been the first arched stone bridge erected in this part of the country, but it has given place to a handsome bridge of one oblate arch, erected in 1838 -39 at the cost of £11,000. The ancient bridge had been so often repaired, that it was impossible to ascertain how much of the original structure remained.
The East of London in 1834
Bow Bridge circa 1800
Both Kindly provided by Colleen
The new Bridge heralded the increases in trade between London and this area of Essex, and was around the same time that the Great Eastern Railways appeared. Stratford Langthorne became a major trading point for the East of London.
Bow Bridge during demolition works - 1835
The design of the south side of the Bow Bridge in 1834
More recent information and pictures to come soon ...
Kindly provided by Colleen