Thanks to your generous donations and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we've been able to restore one of the most unusual and well-recognised canal bridges along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.
Built in the early 19th Century, the gothic-style, Grade II listed Drayton Turret footbridge, near the entrance of the Drayton Manor theme park, is one of the most ornate bridges anywhere on Britain’s canals.
With two gleaming white turrets linked together by a wooden footbridge, the bridge looks more like something you would find in the pages of a fairy-tale book rather than along one of the nation’s busiest waterways. We wanted to make sure that it stayed that way.
In March 2015 we started a £54,000 restoration project to give the bridge a much-needed makeover. We were able to carry out the project thanks to your generous donations and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the wider Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership scheme
Over the course of five weeks our maintenance team stripped off all of the old paint and loose mortar and gave it a fresh coat. The timber deck on the footbridge was replaced and all the metalwork stripped and repainted.
The towpath around the bridge was also improved to make access to the bridge much easier.
The bridge dates to when Sir Robert Peel (British Prime Minister and founder of the police force) built his new mansion at Drayton Bassett. The canal ran through his estate so it’s widely thought that Sir Robert wanted the bridge to be a feature along the canal rather than the more practical styles typically seen along the waterways.
Sarah Brice, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “Drayton Turret footbridge is one of a kind and really makes a statement along this stretch of canal. It took someone as wealthy and influential as Sir Robert Peel to demand such an elaborate, custom-made bridge at the end of his garden.
“The work we have carried out will mean the bridge will continue to delight visitors to the canal for many more years to come.”