Bridge House Estates
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The Bridge House Estates is a charitable trust, established by Royal charter in 1282 by the City of London Corporation in London, England. It was originally established to maintain London Bridge and, subsequently, other bridges. Funded by bridge tolls and charitable donations, the trust acquired an extensive property portfolio which made it more than self-sufficient. As well as maintaining the bridges, the estates also makes other charitable grants through the City Bridge Trust, their grant-making arm. It is one of three funds managed by the City of London, the other two being the City Fund and the City's Cash.
Since it was established, the trust has maintained, and on several occasions replaced, London Bridge. The trust also built Blackfriars Bridge and Tower Bridge, and purchased Southwark Bridge from the toll-exacting private company that built it. Most recently it took over ownership and maintenance of the pedestrian-only Millennium Bridge, having provided a large amount of the funding for its construction.
Until 1995, the trust was permitted to use its income only for expenditure on its bridges. However, with a surplus of income over expenditure, a cy-près scheme was adopted in that year to allow any surplus income to be used for other charitable purposes benefiting Greater London. These grants are made though the City Bridge Trust.