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Scott's view of Old London Bridge was taken shortly before the demolition of its buildings in 1760. Several versions of the picture exist and it was also engraved, evidence of its popularity and people's nostalgia for the way the bridge used to look. One of London's great landmarks, inevitably it had undergone extensive alterations in its 650 year history. Due to fire and decay, buildings had been demolished and rebuilt. However, the features Scott depicts are all identifiable. On the left is the Great Stone Gateway; in the middle a group of houses, known as 'The Middle', with roof gardens; and on the far left 'The Piazza', a group of elegant colonnaded shops. Through the masts of the ship the Monument can be seen.

August 2004