Albert Bridge

Albert Bridge 1873

Albert Bridge 1873

© Brian Naughton

Albert Bridge

An early form of cable-stayed bridge design

Key Facts

Built using the Ordish–Lefeuvre system

2-lane road bridge

An English Heritage Grade II listed structure


London, England

Across the River Thames

Connects Chelsea (north bank) with Battersea (south bank)

Designers / Engineers

Rowland Mason Ordish (1873)

Sir Joseph Bazalgette (1884-87)

Greater London Council (1973)


Rigid suspension bridge

122m main span

216m total length

Main contractors

Albert Bridge Company


Began in 1870

Opened 23 August 1873

The Bridge

Designed and built by Rowland Ordish as a cable-stayed bridge, it proved to be structurally unsound. Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated some of the design elements of a suspension bridge in 1887 and in 1973 the GLC added two concrete piers, transforming the central span into a simple beam bridge. As a result the Albert Bridge is an unusual hybrid of three different design styles.

The bridge acquired the nickname of “The Trembling Lady” because of its tendency to vibrate, particularly when used by troops from the nearby Chelsea Barracks. Concerns about the risks of mechanical resonance led to notices being placed at the entrances warning troops to break step when crossing the bridge.

Other long-span bridges