The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge was closed today in order to allow artists to paint and record the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee flotilla celebrations. The bridge, a steel suspension construction is used for pedestrians only to cross the River Thames. It links Bankside with the City and is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge. The bridge is owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. Construction of the bridge began in 1998, with the opening on 10 June 2000. The vantage point was spectacular and who knows maybe another Turner, Monet or Canaletto will emerge!
Londoners nicknamed the bridge the “Wobbly Bridge” after participants in a charity walk on behalf of Save the Children to open the bridge felt an unexpected, and, for some, uncomfortable, swaying motion on the first two days after the bridge opened. The bridge was closed later that day, and after two days of limited access the bridge was closed for almost two years while modifications were made to eliminate the wobble entirely. It was reopened in 2002. The southern end of the bridge is near Globe Theatre, the Bankside Gallery and Tate Modern, the north end next to the City of London School below St Paul’s Cathedral. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view of St Paul’s south facade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports. The artists ranged from self taught Sunday painters to trained Royal Water-colourists.