Saturday, January 22, 2005

"The present version of the song "London Bridge is Falling Down - My Fair Lady " though based on the old Norse saga, was composed in the 13th century when the unpopular Queen Eleanor was given the tolls from the bridge as a present from her husband, Henry III, in 1269. She was a prolific spender and put all the toll money to her own personal use instead of spending it on the bridge.

Needless to say, the bridge fell into serious disrepair. The old song then became reborn as one of angry sarcastic criticism against the Queen, "London Bridge is Falling down, my Fair Lady". The bridge finally returned to the control of the City of London in 1281, but that winter with heavy ice pushing against the bridge, the ill-maintained structure suffered severe damage with five arches collapsing into the water, and a temporary timber bridge had to be built for that part."

This, and similar snippets can be found on the history pages of The London Bridge Museum and Educational Trust.