December 7 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 30, 2013
WORK has begun on repairing the Adam Bridge that crosses the River Cam in front of Audley End House & Gardens.
Heavily used by cars, the 18th century hump-back bridge was hit by a vehicle a couple of months ago, damaging sections of the stonework and causing them to shift.
English Heritage is working alongside contractors T Butlers and stone masons John Hibbitt & Son of Cambridge, to carefully remove the affected sections of masonry down to the fault line and then rebuild, repairing or replacing any broken sections as they go.
Work is expected to take around three weeks to complete and temporary traffic controls will be in place.
The bridge – a familiar landmark in the Audley End landscape – was constructed in 1763-64 by Robert Adam from Oolitic (Ketton) stone ashlar.
The three arches have round panels containing carved coats of arms and the central panel bears the date 1764. During the Second World War the bridge was an obstacle as part of the Audley End Defence Area and the GHQ Line (Essex).
A spokesman for English Heritage said: “This will be a unique opportunity for visitors to witness English Heritage’s commitment to conservation across rich and diverse historic environments.
“By using authentic materials it means that structures can not only sustain their character but it also supports traditional industries and vital craft skills.”