||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
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.
||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.