the construction of Westminster Bridge in 1750, the population
of the city grew eastwards and westwards along both banks
of the river.
In the 19th century the suburbs
of Fulham, in the north, and Battersea, in the south, had
Work began on the suspension
bridge in 1851 to the designs of the engineer, Thomas Page.
The ornate bridge had pairs of domed toll houses, encrusted
with Gothic-syle decoration, at each end. In 1879 Chelsea
Bridge became toll-free.
Although never formally named,
the bridge was known as the Victoria for some years after
its opening in 1858. The change of name coincided with
fears over the bridge's safety, and in 1880 the bridge was
strengthened with additional chain, but only 40 years later
it was recommended that the bridge should be completely replaced.
Demolition work in 1935, the
new suspension bridge was given stronger foundations, set
inside granite bored into the riverbed. The six-lane
roadway of Chelsea Suspension Bridge is suspended using 37
galvanised steel wires. The bridge is embellished with
lampstands decorated with golden galleons.
Because the construction work
used Douglas Fir from British Colombia in Canada, the Prime
Minister of Canada, W.L Mackenzie King, opened the bridge