This crossing was originally meant to be named Pitt Bridge in honour of the former Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder, but the name never caught on. Blackfriars Bridge was built from 1760-1769 by the Scottish engineer Robert Mylne and lasted almost 100 years, requiring frequent repairs due to the sub-par limestone used in construction. It was torn down in 1864 when the government determined it would be more cost-effective to simply replace the bridge than to keep repairing it.
The new bridge, which is still standing, was designed by Thomas Cubitt and completed in 1869. In his Dickens's Dictionary of London, published ten years later, Charles Dickens Jr. describes Blackfriars Bridge as "one of the handsomest in London." If celebrity magazines were around back then, Blackfriars would've been called "the sexiest bridge alive."