Black Friars  Bridge

Black Friars Bridge. Steel engraving. Drawn by T. Shepherd and engraved by H. Finche. From Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway.

Text accompanying the engraving

As we progress, the delightful gardens belonging to the Temple Inns of Court attract our attention on the left. This spot, as the ancient Alsatia, has been of late years rendered familiar to the public by the interesting account detailed in the excellent novel of "the Fortunes of Nigel," by Sir Walter Scott. The Thames continues bending in a serpentine direction to the right, passing through the stone arches of Blackfriars-bridge. St. Paul's cathedral, whose lofty cupola and mass of beautiful architecture has long excited admiration, now appears to considerable advantage, towering in supremacy above the dwellings and numerous steeples with which it is environed. In 1675, the foundation-stone of the present structure was laid, on the site of the ancient abbey of St. Paul, and was finished in 1710, under the guidance and superintendence of Sir Christopher Wren. It is 2,292 feet in circumference and 340 feet in height. The whole expense of rebuilding the cathedral was £736,000, which was almost entirely raised by a small duty on coals. In magnificence of exterior architecture it is only surpassed by St. Peter's at Rome; and though this famed cathedral is of larger dimensions than that of St. Paul, yet It is worthy remark, that St. Peter's was 145 years erecting, was the work of twelve successive architects, and exhausted the revenues of nineteen popes. [74]

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Text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the University of California Library and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Fearnside, W. G. Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway, Engraved on Steel by the First Artists. London: Black and Armstrong, [n.d. after 1837]. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of California at Berkley Library. Web. 30 March 2012.

Last modified 1 May 2012