How we're looking after Sizergh's suspension bridge

A view of the suspension bridge over the River Kent

Sizergh’s estate includes an attractive 19th-century suspension bridge over the River Kent. It was built in 1878 for workers to access the Sedgwick Gunpowder Works but the wrought iron linkages date back further, having been upcycled from an earlier bridge. It has recently been assessed and repairs are required along with cosmetic decoration. This repairs will happen this summer, starting on the 1 August 2022, over a period of five weeks.

What work is happening?

We will be carrying out essential repairs and painting. We will also be surveying the bridge to produce accurate drawings to help us maintain this structure in years to come.

When will the bridge reopen?

We hope the bridge will be reopened by mid-September.

Is it safe to use the bridge until the work starts?

Yes – the bridge is structurally sound.

Why has the work been planned during the busiest time of the year?

The work is taking place in August/September as this was the earliest time the contractors were available. The painting also needs to be done during the summer months when the weather is drier and warmer.

Is there an alternative route across the river?

As part of the application for a temporary footpath closure across the bridge Cumbria County Council have confirmed that there is no suitable alternative route for pedestrians.

Is this the best use of your charitable funds?

As a conservation charity, the National Trust is committed to preserving the land, buildings and collections in its care. As well as providing pedestrian access across the River Kent, this bridge also has historical significance in the landscape in which it sits.