View of the Thames off Three Cranes Wharf when frozen.
Medium: Aquatint with etching, coloured
View of the frozen River Thames off Three Cranes Wharf, upon which in winter 1813-14 a frost fair was held. Throughout the 17th and 18th century the Thames periodically froze over and the surface was often solid enough to walk on. This was because old London Bridge impeded the flow of the River, which meant that if there was a prolonged spell of cold weather, ice patches formed around the bridge and banks. The ice expanded and gradually joined up, creating a continuous sheet of ice over the River. The fairs were not official as they had no Royal Charter, but were often spontaneous.