Only road-crossing of the Thames downstream of Kingston-upon-Thames. There are some 200 buildings on the bridge up to seven storeys high, forming a dark tunnel through which all traffic has to pass. The roadway is just 12 feet wide, divided into two lanes, so that in each direction, carts, wagons, coaches and pedestrians shared a passageway. The difference in water levels on the two sides of the bridge could be as much as 6 feet producing ferocious rapids between the piers. Only the brave or foolhardy attempt to "shoot the bridge"—steer a boat between the starlings when in flood—and some drown in the attempt. The bridge was "for wise men to pass over, and for fools to pass under."