In 1861 an Act of Parliament was passed to allow South Eastern Railway to construct a railway station in Cannon Street, less than one mile from their original station at London Bridge.
The station, river bridge and viaduct approaches were designed by Sir John Hawkshaw, consulting engineer to the South Eastern Railway, and work commenced in 1863. Cannon Street Station opened in September 1866.
The railway bridge has five arches, and five set of tracks occupied 63 ft of the deck, with the remaining 17 ft taken up by two footpaths, embellished with cast-iron parapets.
The downstream path was reserved for railway employees but the upstream side was open to the public as a tollbridge, the toll abolished in 1877.
However, in 1889, when the bridge was widened the footpaths were swept away. At this time the bridge was strengthened, with the cast iron cylinders being doubled to four on each pier.
Since then the bridge has been rebuilt twice. Just before World War I the bridge was strengthened to enabled it to carry heavier locomotives and in 1981 the structure was entirely reconstructed by British Rail.