Nonsuch House

August 28th – On this day in 1577, the first stone was laid for the foundation of Nonsuch House on London Bridge.

London Bridge and Nonsuch House

London Bridge and Nonsuch House

The modern incarnation of London Bridge is visited on our “Historic Southwark” standard walk.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (, or by phone (020-8998-3051).

2 thoughts on “Nonsuch House

  1. Bob Jones - The Lost City of London Post author

    Many thanks for your post …

    In answer to your question, yes, Nonsuch House was finally demolished in the mid eighteenth century, to allow for the widening of Old London Bridge.

    By this time, the bridge had begun to lose custom to the new one at Westminster, which was wider and freer of encumbrances to the flow of traffic. Accordingly, in 1756 an Act of Parliament was passed authorising the widening of Old London Bridge, partly through the compulsory purchase and demolition of the houses thereon, including Nonsuch, which work was undertaken sometime between the February of 1757 and the October of the same year, when the bridge was formally re-opened. (The re-opened bridge was damaged by fire in April 1758, and finally replaced in 1831, by another new bridge that eventually ended up being transported to and rebuilt in Lake Havasu City in Arizona! The present structure was formally opened by the present Queen in 1973).

    The original construction of Nonsuch House, which took two years to complete, was remarkable for the amount of pre-fabrication involved, with sections manufactured in Holland and shipped across the North Sea packed flat for assembly on site. And also for the quality of the craftsmanship employed, it even being said that all the sections fitted together with wooden pegs, and without a single nail. The completed House, with its gaudy paintwork, intricately carved carapace, and ornate cupolas, must have been one of the wonders of its age. Fortunately, it stood just long enough, albeit apparently in a state of some disrepair, to be immortalised in a Canaletto drawing of circa 1750, now in the British Museum. Unfortunately, we know very little of its nearly two-hundred year history – not even who its occupants were!


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