It is made up of two bridges, both built in the mid-19th century. The eastern side was built by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in 1858 to 60 to carry trains into Victoria Station. This was the first railway bridge across the Thames in central London. The western side was built by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1865/66.
Both bridges were rebuilt in steel in 1963–67, the original piers now being wrapped in concrete. The designer for this work was Freeman Fox & Partners.
On the north bank is Pimlico to the north and east and Chelsea to the west. The Lister Hospital and the Royal Chelsea Hospital are immediately to the north west. On the south bank is Nine Elms to the east and Battersea to the west. Battersea Power Station is immediately to the south of the bridge, and Battersea Park to the south west.