As Walton Bridge becomes the first road bridge across the Thames to open in more than 20 years, here are five things you may not have known about Surrey’s crossings over the Thames
1. Hammersmith Bridge
The crossing linking Barnes to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has been targeted three times by IRA bombers.
According to newspaper reports at the time, On March 29 1939, Maurice Childs, a women’s hairdresser was walking home across the bridge when he noticed smoke and sparks coming from a suitcase that was lying on the walkway. Maurice opened the suitcase to find a bomb and he quickly threw the bag into the river. The resulting explosion sent up a 60-foot column of water and moments later, a second device exploded causing some girders on the bridge to collapse.
In 1996, the IRA planted two massive Semtex devices on the south side of the river. Although the detonators went off, the explosives failed to ignite, saving thousands of local residents from harm. In 2000, a small bomb exploded on the south side of the bridge, causing it to close for traffic for two yeas.
2. Kew Bridge
The site close to where Kew Bridge stands today is thought to have been where Julius Caesar crossed the Thames on his first visit to Britain in 55 BC. There is no firm evidence that Caesar did actually cross here, though the existence of Roman settlements in Brentford and an early ford makes it perfectly likely.
Between 1996 and 2006 Doug Myers, an artist from Weybridge, painted all 110 bridges over the navigable Thames.
Kingston Bridge was the first crossing Doug Myers decided to do a portrait of in the mid-1990s. When this picture was completed, he went on to paint Hampton Court Bridge and then Richmond – it was at this point that he realised he could paint every bridge that crosses the Thames.
To view Doug Myers' Thames bridges portfolio, visit www.dougmyers.co.uk .
4. Richmond Bridge
Built between 1774 and 1777, as a replacement for a ferry crossing, Richmond bridge was the eight Thames bridge to be built in what is now Greater London, it is today the oldest surviving bridge in London.
5. Prince of Wales
3 July 1933 was an extremely busy day for Prince Edward. On that day, the Prince of Wales officially opened Twickenham Bridge, Hampton Bridge and Chiswick Bridge. The three bridges were all constructed as part of an ambitious scheme to relieve traffic congestion west of London.