Old London Bridge


Limited Edition of 35 copies, signed and numbered.  

Distinguished Book Award 2003, Miniature Book Society Inc. *Edition now sold out.*

Scroll down for Bibliography

Bound in calf leather, the book is hand sewn over dyed vellum slips, laced into the covers. This style reflects the medieval origins of the Bridge. The book fastens with a brass bar through loops on the front and back covers. A hand coloured Panorama of the Bridge, after an engraving of around 1600, folds out from the back of the book. In addition there are six black & white illustrations. A Royal Mail Postage Stamp of Old London Bridge forms the frontispiece of the book. Printed from photopolymer plates on a Craftsmen platen press, onto Zerkall Ingres mouldmade paper, Old London Bridge measures 3" x 25/8", 64 pp.  

At least 3500 years ago, a wooden bridge was built across the River Thames at the crossing-point now known as London, establishing trading routes that are still travelled today. In 1176, King Henry II instructed Peter de Colechurch to start building a permanent London Bridge in stone. A vast and costly undertaking for those times, it took thirty-three years to complete, and was to stand for more that six centuries. This huge achievement is detailed in Old London Bridge, from its inception to the eventual demolition of the Bridge in 1831.

An inhabited Bridge was not unique in the twelfth century, but Old London Bridge was the longest of such bridges, and must have been a spectacular sight. The shops sold luxury goods such as jewelry and books. The houses were built, decorated and furnished to the highest standards of the day and leased to wealthy and important people who wanted to live in a fashionable neighborhood.

Hand marbled paper for the endpapers was created by Ann Muir in a special version of the 18th Century pattern ‘Stormont’, with orange and yellow veins swirled through a gray veined background representing the turbulent River Thames. 

Illustrations include a double page map of Southwark as it was in the 16th Century, the Drawbridge and Great Stone Gates, the Chapel and a typical shop & dwelling house, all hand-coloured with water colors, in addition to the panorama.

BIBLIOGRAPHY - For those of you who wish to learn more about the Bridge.

"Old London Bridge", by Patricia Pierce, Pub. Headline London, 2001
"Old London Bridge", by Gordon Home, Pub London 1931
"London Bridge", by Peter Jackson, Cassell, London 1971
"City of London Past" by Richard Tames, pub.Historical Publications, London 1995
"Old London Illustrated " by H. Cox & H. Brewer, pub.The Builder, London, c.1950    

   © Janet Kellett 1996-2015   jan dot kellett at shaw dot ca