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Cheswick bridge
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The earliest record of a ferry at Chiswick is from the seventeenth century, though there was probably one in use earlier than this, and it continued to operate until the 1930s, when the bridge was built.
Chiswick Bridge, along with Twickenham Bridge, was built as part of the Great Chertsey Road scheme, which created a major new route from Hammersmith to Chertsey, bypassing, among other places, Kingston and Richmond. The project had first been proposed in 1909, but nothing happened until 1927, after the scheme had been endorsed by the Royal Commission on Cross-River Traffic. The Ministry of Transport decided it was time something was done and offered to pay 75 per cent of the cost, with the Middlesex and Surrey county councils providing the rest of the funding. A Bill went before Parliament in 1927, and the following year it received the Royal Assent, with construction beginning in 1930.

Cheswick bridge

Aerial view of Chiswick Bridge during its construction.

The bridge was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, architect of the Bank of England, and built by the engineerAlfred Dryland, who also worked on Twickenham Bridge. Like Twickenham Bridge, erected at the same time, it was built of reinforced concrete, but Chiswick Bridge was faced with Portland stone, giving it a more traditional appearance. The bridge is 607 feet long and is 70 feet between the parapets, with a 40-foot roadway. It has three river spans, the central one being 150 feet, and there is a shore span at each end over the towpath, which is now part of the Thames Path.

Cheswick bridge

Chiswick Bridge from the south bank.

The bridge was the first of three to be opened by the Prince of Wales (the future EdwardVIII) on 3 July 1933. Chiswick Bridge was opened at 4.30 p.m.,Twickenham Bridge at 5 p.m., and the bridge at Hampton Court at 5.30 p.m. Chiswick Bridge is best-known as the finishing point of the annual University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge, and the marker post of the finish line is visible on the north bank on the downstream side of the bridge.

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