Folly Bridge, Bewdley

Posted on March 6th, 2009 by Charles Boot

Jo Bloom asks: Can anyone confirm that this Folly Bridge is by ‘Capability’ Brown?

Is this brideg by 'Capability' Brown?
Is this bridge by ‘Capability’ Brown?

This fine little bridge is situated in Bewdley, Worcestershire (Shropshire when it was built). It is, I am sure, a part of Brown’s garden design for Spring Grove House which is now the site of Bewdley Safari Park. The Folly Bridge clearly shows on 1885 maps, though I have not yet been able to date its build.

Although a part of Spring Grove House gardens, it is situated at the bottom of a series of artificial waterfalls, with holding chambers, and garden ruins that were designed by Gertrude Jekyll for Mrs. Wakeman-Newport in 1912. It now lies within a wooded area of Sandbourne House (demolished 1971). I have the plans from Berkley, USA and am still investigating the woodland area.

I am keen to have it recognized as it’s been left hidden due to a bypass being cut through the grounds around 30–40 years ago. The pool is also in the route of Riddings Brook which was the cause of several devastating flood events in the last 20 months. I am concerned that it may be affected if plans are drawn for flood alleviation without the importance of the Folly Bridge being recognized. No Council documents exist on it, and I do not believe anyone actually does understand what it ‘could’ be!

I can offer a guided tour for any visits,

Cheers, Jo Bloom
Jbloomer69 at aol dot com


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