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Click to see full size Fire struck the Bridge in 1633. This fire was started when a maid servant left a pail of ashes under wooden stairs. Forty-three houses were destroyed and many of the shops were also burned and damaged. Most of the bridge escaped the Great Fire of 1666 as the fire years before had left a gap so wide that the flames were unable to reach the rest of the bridge. This fire lasted for 4 days but only the new houses on the end of the bridge were burnt.
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London was then to be rebuilt and the new style of architecture was also adopted on the bridge. The ancient timber houses were replaced by new blocks so 'modern' that they even had roof gardens.

In 1722 an attempt was made to control congestion by ordering all traffic to keep to the left, an order that became the established rule of the road.
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By 1763, all the houses were pulled down. The bridge was widened and partly rebuilt with a wide centre arch. This however proved to be a problem in itself as the torrents of water were now concentrated at one point and this started to tear away at the existing piers and to make the bridge unstable.
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