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Click to see full size In 1577, Nonesuch House was built to replace the New Stone Gate, stretching across the bridge with a tunnel running through it at street level. The south end of the bridge was thereafter used for the traditional display of heads and limbs of traitors as it took the place of the original Traitors Gate.

Nonesuch House had a framework of timber like all the other houses but was elaborate in its detailing having been assembled in Flanders and transported up the Thames to be re-erected on the bridge. Not a single nail was used in its construction and it is believed that for some of its life it was used as a residence for the Lord Mayor of London.
There was a wooden drawbridge on the bridge to let ships in and keep invaders out. The foundations of the bridge were formed by driving piles into the mud and erecting within them stone piers which were protected by vast timber starlings. This created a raging torrent between the starlings at high and low tides, and going through them at these times was perilous indeed. Click to see full size
Click to see full size It was known as "Shooting the Bridge" and the Thames watermen needed to be expert to get through unscathed. Passengers normally left the boat upstream at "The Three Cranes" and rejoined downstream at Billingsgate.

The flow of the water was used to turn water wheels below the arches, first for grinding grain and in 1582, at the northern end of the bridge, huge waterwheels were erected by Peter Morris. This was to supply Londoners with their first piped Thames water.
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