Bridges of Lacock

In 2013 we were working on the edge of Lacock Village in Wiltshire with Andrew Townsend Architects on a pair of ashlar and rubble-built, late medieval and 17th century bridges. With a connecting causeway that traverses the River Avon and its water meadows, it forms a very nice composition. The photo below shows the principal bridge in May 2003 before restoration.

The principal bridge is of 4 rebated pointed arches with very decayed cutwaters on the upstream side, whilst the downstream side has a heavy central supporting pier. Kingfishers perched on our scaffolding and new nesting ledges were created for a rare wagtail that likes to roost on the north side of ancient bridges.

Below, the principal bridge in September 2003 after restoration.

The causeway walling is pierced with square holes for floodwater and links to second five-arch bridge over the tributary. It was originally known as the Foot Bridge. Surviving records of the 17th century indicate that the bridge was too dilapidated to be passable to wheeled traffic, and therefore much of the present fabric is later restoration. This project was conservation driven with tiles used to repair decayed stones (SPAB repairs). We unpicked much hard cement and worked with an NHL 3.5 hydraulic lime mortar to replace the previous damaging cement based restorations and to make new repairs. The project was funded by Wiltshire County Council.