The very existence of London came about because of its bridges. The Romans realized that it was the most convenient place to bridge the Thames estuary, which offers an excellent navigable routeway from the North Sea westwards far into central England, and constructed a series of bridges, which went out of use during the 4th century AD. The great stone bridge lined with houses and shops was constructed c1176-1209, and it became one of the most recognizable visual images of London between the 13th and 17th centuries, one of the most important structures and spaces in medieval and early modern London, rich in historical events, contemporary activities and symbolism. It was home to a thriving residential and working population, but gaining access to the bridge was also vital to the success of protesting crowds and rebel armies. Twice in 1281-2 and 1437, parts of the stone bridge were broken by a combination of ice and neglect. It was demolished in 1831-2 after the construction of a new bridge upstream. This volume is based on the 1984 investigation of the Southwark medieval bridge abutment and combines the archaeological, architectural, historical and pictorial evidence for London's greatest bridge. The scene of battles and pageants, London Bridge was also where the 'keep left' on the road rule began in 1722.