The bridge replaced an earlier one that was built in 1769. This bridge was originally named after William Pitt, the Tory Prime Minister. However, the title was so unpopular that its name was soon changed to that of the Black Friars, an order of monks that settled in London in 1279.
Parallel to the bridge ran a rail bridge and you can still see the remains of it – the red columns in the river and the insignia of the railway company.
In 1982, the body of a top Italian banker known as “God’s Banker” due to his links with the Vatican was found hanging under Blackfriars bridge.
His death was originally treated as suicide, based on the fact that he had been stripped of his authority as head of Italy’s largest private bank only a week earlier following the discovery of a £400 million black hole in the bank’s accounts.
However, in 2002 forensic experts concluded that the banker had been murdered.