A CAMPAIGN to save the historic 250 year-old bridge spanning the lake in front of Compton Verney has been launched.
The work, set to cost around £30,000, is necessary after two centuries of being crossed, first by horse-drawn carriages and now millions of footsteps taken every year by visitors to the country house art gallery near Wellesbourne.
As increasing numbers return to see the exhibitions and collections in the main house, along with the many activities, events, installations, paths and old buildings in the 120-acres of grounds, the bridge has become one of the busiest points on the Compton Verney estate.
Installed in the 1770s as part of major changes to the park’s landscape by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the bridge is an important example of 18th-century architecture and is now grade II* listed.
In 2021 alone, the bridge provided a gateway for nearly 130,000 people visiting Compton Verney, which is a registered charity.
But it also served as a meeting point, a wildlife observation platform, a place to celebrate the first moments of marriage, and featured in countless social media posts.
The landmark now requires specialist work to safeguard its future. Over the years its balusters have cracked and loosened, frost has damaged the structure, the ashlar masonry needs repairing and one of the stone spheres on a pillar at the entry to the bridge needs extensive repairs.
Compton Verney CEO Geraldine Collinge said: “This work will cost around £30,000 and it is vital that we make the repairs.
“As we welcome more visitors than ever before to our amazing year-round programme of exhibitions, installations, and outdoor events, our bridge is at the centre of it all.
“With the financial ramifications of the pandemic still being felt and the new impact of rising costs and energy prices affecting much of what we do, these are challenging times, and your support is crucial. We understand that many of you are facing the same challenges, but whatever you can spare will be very gratefully received and will make a valuable contribution to the project and the future of Compton Verney.”
Visit www.comptonverney.org.uk/join-support/make-a-donation/ to make a donation, or to find out more about the Our Bridge Needs You campaign.
Alternatively, people can contact [email protected] to discuss how they could support the scheme directly.