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June 17, 2015, 08:41 PM

Westminster Bridge for sale! ... by LASSCO at Salvo Fair

By Anthony Reeve

A large quantity of the massive balustrade of the original Westminster Bridge will be for sale from LASSCO at Salvo Fair next weekend [photo Katie Chan

There is 300 running metres of the trefoil parapet which is painted green [photo LASSCO

Oxfordshire, UK - Grand Architectural Salvage at LASSCO

Westminster Bridge: the cast iron parapet of 1854-62 by Thomas Page and Sir Charles Barry, cast in sections, each with an overscrolled hand rail above a frieze pierced with repeating trefoils, all raised on a substantial kerb, bearing original paint, Approx: 300 running metres.

You might think, on crossing Westminster Bridge today with St. Thomas' Hospital and County Hall behind you and Big Ben and Portcullis House looming up ahead, that your hand is running along the balustrade of the 160 year old Westminster Bridge. You'd be wrong. The iron superstructure was replaced 2005-2007. Your hand is running along a facsimile.

LASSCO is delighted to offer for sale the original Victorian Westminster Bridge that was removed during this restoration - the first time that an historic London river crossing has been offered on the open market since John Rennie's Portland stone London Bridge of 1831 was sold by The Corporation of London to Robert P. McCulloch in 1968 - at 10,000tons undoubtedly the largest single item of architectural salvage ever shipped to the USA (that he thought he was buying Tower Bridge is a myth unfortunately!).

Condition has been cited as the reason for the replacement ironwork - but this seems unlikely. A persistent rumour has it that shrapnel from Victorian iron was deemed to represent a threat to the Palace of Westminster in the event of a terrorist bomb attack.

The Victorian Westminster Bridge was built in iron by Thomas Page in 1854-62 using Sir Charles Barry as architectural consultant. Barry tied-in the Gothic ornament of his progressing Palace of Westminster to ensure that Page's bridge was harmonious with the Parliament buildings. The green coloration aimed to continue this link when it was adopted in 1970 - green for Westminster Bridge and red for Lambeth Bridge - an intentional nod to the respective schemes of the Commons and Lords chambers. Westminster Bridge, as depicted in works by Monet and many others - and countless films - was constructed during a sustained and intensive period of bridge building in London as the city boomed. Westminster Bridge has been the most long-lived of them - all others from this era have, in time, been superseded.

Thomas Page had built the first Chelsea Bridge in 1851-8 - it was a suspension bridge with cast iron towers. He had previously worked under Brunel on the Thames Tunnel at Deptford.

A quantity of the massive balustrade will be on show at Salvo Fair 2015 near Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, 27th-28th June, with Trade Day on 26th June.
[Press Day - Thursday 24th June] Salvo Fair contact Ruby Hazael 01225 422300

Information Contact: Anthony Reeve, LASSCO Three Pigeons, Milton Common, Oxon
01844 277185 ant@lassco(dot)

LASSCO Three Pigeons,
Milton Common,
Oxfordshire OX9 2JN

Tel: +44(0)1844 277185 / Open: Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun 11am-4pm when the Restaurant is open for Sunday Roast.

Salvo Fair

LASSCO House & Garden Ltd

LASSCO main website
Salvo Fair 2015

Story Type:  Upcoming Event

ID: 89776

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