The last pieces of the original 1831 London Bridge will be restored as part of a £1.8m project in Barking, partly financed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The remnants of the old bridge, which was sold to an American developer in 1967 and relocated to Arizona, will be restored by Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration firm Be First - as part of a restoration project around Barking Abbey.
The granite blocks are currently part of a sculpture near the Grade II-listed Curfew Tower by the ruins of Barking Abbey, which was created by artist Joost Van Santen after the blocks were brought to the borough in 2006.
Councillor Darren Rodwell, Barking and Dagenham Council’s leader, said: “We will be sprucing up the area around the Curfew Tower to encourage people to enjoy our local heritage and, as part of the landscaping, we will be polishing up these hidden jewels from the old London Bridge.
“And, I can promise we will not be selling off our parts of London Bridge to anyone, whether they’re from Arizona or Azerbaijan!”
The refurbishment work will include a new landscaped entrance at the Abbey Green ruins from East Street around the Curfew Tower.
The heritage project work by Be First includes refurbishing historic shop fronts in the Barking Conservation Area, and a programme of community engagement on local history.
David Harley, head of regeneration at Be First, said: “At Be First we’re keen to preserve and celebrate the borough’s history. The Abbey ruins and the London Bridge stones are not only precious to Barking and Dagenham, they are precious to London.”
Be First will be consulting on the designs of the project later this year before the restoration works begin in 2020.
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