|From:||Elephant & Castle (TQ319792)|
|To:||City of London (TQ324808)|
|Length:||1.1 miles (1.8 km)|
|Meets:||A3, A3202, A3201, A3200, A3211|
|Route outline (key)|
Southwark Bridge was built in 1819 (rebuilt in 1921) and was the third and last bridge to be built into the the City of London itself. When built, it was claimed to have the largest iron arch in the world. However, even after tolls were removed in 1868, it was never as busy as its two neighbours (Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge), and one reason for this was that its approach roads did not form a very direct route to anywhere in particular. Today, the approaches are numbered as the A300, the low number being purely because it is the closest A-road in the 3-zone to the "hub" of the network in the City of London.
Southwark Bridge - Elephant & Castle
The A300 starts at an unobtrusive junction with the A3 on Newington Causeway, just north of the Elephant & Castle. The A3 itself is a major route into London, via London Bridge itself, but we are going by the back way. As Southwark Bridge Road it winds its way through Southwark, passing close to St Christopher House, until recently the headquarters of the government's Highways Authority.
Next it passes the New Globe Theatre, the first building in London since 1666 to be permitted a thatched roof - in fact Shakespeare's original Globe burnt down in 1613 as a result of sparks from a cannon used for sound effects.
After crossing Southwark Bridge itself, the A300 ends abruptly at a junction with Upper Thames Street, now the A3211. However, before the "Ring of Steel" changes, it continued a little further, as Queen Street, crossing the Cannon Sreet/ Queen Victoria Street (A4,A3211) complex near Mansion House Underground station, and on to meet Cheapside (A40) at the point where it becomes Poultry. Ahead lies King Street, with the City of London Guildhall at the end, but that's it for the A300.
Original Author(s): Tim Lidbetter