Although authorised in 1864, the bridge was finally built in 1873. Designed by Julian Tolmne, the wrought-iron structure was of the lattice girder type, with a timber roadway.
When it opened a toll was charged but this was abolished in 1880. By this time the bridge had been purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works. The new owners decided that the bridge should be replaced. In 1935 London County Council (LCC) finally gave their consent for a new bridge. A temporary bridge, used during the widening of Chelsea Bridge, was erected alongside the old one.
Designed by Sir Peirson Frank, the new bridge has a 200 ft central span, consisting of seven high-tensile steel girders. After some delay the new bridge opened in 1940.