Welcome to the website of the Bridge Ward Club, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in January 2020!
The Club exists to promote the Ward of Bridge and Bridge Without, and its connections with this historic ward are symbolised by the Club badge, which shows the Bridge Mark – the mark of the Bridge House Trust, who administer London Bridge – beneath a representation of the Monument.
Anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the ward may apply to join the club. Membership enquiries are welcome – contact our Membership Secretary Karen Whitting.
Who We Are
The club is run by a main committee who organise the events and run the administration of the not for profit club. The main committee is steered by a Chairman and Deputy Chairman who are elected bi-annually, in addition to other officers fulfilling various roles. Bridge Ward Club also has a ‘corporate’ sub-committee which addresses the needs and interests of the working members of the ward.
Each Chairman has designated charities for the two year tenure in the Chair, in 2018/19 it was Cambridge Samaritans and for 2019/20 the Chairman’s Charity is in aid of the Bridge Ward 5-a-side football Challenge Cup for adults and less advantaged schools, which has raised over £1,200 to date.
Bridge Ward Club was founded in January 1930 by 31 initial members who all had addresses in the Ward. The object of the Club was to provide electors and those who work and have an interest in the Ward with an opportunity to promote social activities and discussion of topics of local and general interest and also to exchange Ward and parochial information.
The first President was Alderman Charles H Collett and the Vice President was Sir John Knill Bt, who was Alderman of the Ward of Bridge Without. The Club’s third President, Sir George J Cullum-Welsh Bt, became Lord Mayor in 1956.
In 1931 the Club’s inaugural dinner was held at the Fishmongers’ Hall and was attended by 122 Members and their guests. The 50th Anniversary Dinner was held in the same hall in February 1981 and was attended by 176 diners. Since then the Bridge Ward Club’s membership has steadily grown to over 200 members.
The Club now has a varied social programme and meets at least 12 times a year for events ranging from the carol service at the Ward Church (St Magnus the Martyr) to talks of City interest or visits to interesting places such as the Isle of Wight, Kings College Cambridge, the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre and the Thames River Police Museum.
In 2014 our president, Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow was elected Lord Mayor.
On 23 April 2015 we held a St George’s Day Banquet in a packed Mansion House to celebrate the Mayoralty of our Alderman, Alan Yarrow.
For our 90th Celebrations we are holding a Civic Dinner in the presence of the Honourable Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress. In addition we are holding the second 5 a side football tournament at Shoreditch with teams from companies in the Ward and nearby along with teams from schools from less privileged areas. Many of these young people, workers and members will be processing in the Lord Mayor’s Show in November 2020. This alongside a very busy events calendar for all ages associated with the Club.
A walk in and around Bridge Ward
Starting and finishing point: St Magnus the Martyr
Time: Approximately 1 hour
Start your walk at St Magnus the Martyr (1) designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1671-76 after the Great Fire of London in 1666. A church is first mentioned on this site in 1067. It is dedicated to the Norwegian Earl of Orkneys, killed by his cousin Haakon in 1116. Note in the porch to the church, old parish boundary marks of various local churches and the rather decrepit piece of timber from the old Roman quayside. In the forecourt are pieces of stone from the famous mediaeval London Bridge and Sir John Rennie’s bridge opened in 1831.
Leave the forecourt and turn left and immediately look up left to see the distinctive projecting clock, presented in 1709 by a former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Charles Duncombe. After admiring the clock, look for a flight of stairs to your left, go up these and in the subway take the first turn to the left up onto London Bridge. Immediately on your left is Adelaide House (2) completed in 1925 as offices and warehousing by the architects Sir John Burnet & Tait. When built it was London’s highest building and had internal ventilation, an internal mail system and a miniature golf course on the roof. Across the road is the fine Fishmongers’ Hall (3) one of the great Livery Halls of the City of London, built in 1831-35 by Henry Roberts. The Fishmongers trace their ancestry to the C14. Then note to the right of the entrance to Adelaide House a plaque celebrating London Bridge (4)
Go down the stairs by this plaque which then leads to the Thames Path. At the foot of the stairs turn right and pause to look at the views up and down river from this good vantage point. Go along Thames Path West, remembering to look up at the fine river elevation of Fishmongers’ Hall. Look in through the left hand exit gates from the Hall to see a fisherman and women cast in Coade stone. Then just to the left in the courtyard is a statue erected to the memory of James Hulbert, who died in 1724 when in office as Prime Warden to the Company and left his fortune to the Fishmongers.
At Swan Lane (5) named after the Old Swan Pub that used to be near the river front, turn right until you reach Lower and Upper Thames Street (6). Cross the road and turn right for about 100 metres. In Roman times you would have been walking along the quayside with the River Thames on your right. At Fish Street Hill turn left and you can immediately see The Monument (7). This column, which is still the tallest free-standing column in the world, commemorates the Great Fire of London and was completed in 1676 to the design of Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. A large timber plaque gives brief details of The Monument. A visit to the top is well the climb!
Turn left out of Fish Street Hill into Monument Street to look on the left for a Corporation plaque indicating the site of King William Street Underground Station, the first City Terminus of the Northern Line (8). Cross the street and proceed again up Fish Street Hill to cross Eastcheap into Gracechurch Street. You are now on the route of the Roman road northwards from London Bridge, which would eventually take you to Lincoln and York. Look out for the plaque on your right commemorating William Curtis (9), the English botanist who lived in a house on this site. Just after the plaque turn right into Talbot Court (10) to see an attractive tavern that used to be called The Talbot. The present pub set in this quiet backwater is now The Ship and has a fine internal staircase. Retrace your steps and turn right to the next courtyard on the right which is St Benet Place (11). It is a reminder of the church of St Benet Grasschurch which stood here until it was destroyed in the Great Fire.
Before turning right into Fenchurch Street, which forms the northern boundary of Bridge Ward, look north to Tower 42, which is one of the tallest buildings in the City. You are now halfway round the Ward and there is still much of interest to see. Proceed along Fenchurch Street until you reach Philpot Lane, turn right until you come to Brabant Court (12). Turn into this most attractive Court to look at No 4, a 1700’s property built by Letten. The Court has been named after a C17 proprietor called Bradbourne. Retrace your steps to Fenchurch Street and turn right into Rood Lane.
On the east side of Rood Lane stands a very large recently erected building Plantation Place (13) by the architects Arup Associates. To its south is Sir Christopher Wren’s church St Margaret Pattens (14), his only church to have a true spire which you can admire from this viewpoint in Rood Lane: if you turn about you can see it skilfully reflected in the glass fronted building in Fenchurch Street. Continue down Rood Lane until you reach Eastcheap. Here you turn right until you again come to Philpot Lane. Eastcheap was the one of the two main shopping streets in the City in mediaeval times. The other was Westcheap, now Cheapside and still a major shopping street in the City.
Turn right into Philpot Lane and immediately look up to your right to look for two mice eating a piece of cheese. They are about four metres above street level. The building 23 Eastcheap (15) was built in 1862 by John Young & Son as offices and warehousing for Messrs Hunt & Crombie, spice merchants. Retrace your steps, cross Eastcheap, turn left and head for Lovat Lane (16). On the corner of Eastcheap and Lovat Lane is Peek House, built in 1885 for Peek Bros, tea and coffee merchants. Look up to see an amusing relief of camels and a driver. Go down Lovat Lane which is narrow and winding with C19 granite setts and a central gutter. It is one of the most memorable lanes in the City. St Mary at Hill (17) built by Sir Christopher Wren 1670-74 is on your left. The brick tower you can see was a later addition by George Gwilt Senior in 1787-88.
At the bottom of Lovat Lane look carefully down on the right hand side for a tablet giving a description of a weathervane of a Bawley fishing boat (18) which you will see better from across the road. Turn right into Monument Street to look again at The Monument (7) before going a few steps to see on your right the former churchyard of St Botolph Billingsgate, called One Tree Park (19). Cross the road and go up the stairs onto the highwalk, remembering to look for the Bawley fishing boat. Walk along the covered pedestrian way until you reach the bridge across Lower Thames Street. From here there is a particularly good view of the tower and steeple of St Magnus the Martyr (1). Go over the bridge and straight ahead until you reach the river front. The views up and down river are very striking. Down the staircase on your right and turn back on yourself at the bottom of the stairs to face the rear of Adelaide House (2), proceed towards it and when you see the south face of St Magnus the Martyr, turn right and return to the point where you commenced this walk.
Walk compiled by the late Paul Taylor, Bridge Ward member and Past Chairman, Chartered Architect and City of London Guide Lecturer. April 2010