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The historic Iron Bridge in Brabyns Park

Migrating the Iron Bridge Restoration Project Diary from the old web site was a task I'd put off due to the daunting amount of material generated during a period of more than 11 years. However, with the bridge discovered to be at risk again in the winter of 2021 the time seemed right to get the job done.

Brabyns Park Iron Bridge

This section of the web site, completed in January 2022, now pulls together the pages created during the huge community effort of the Iron Bridge Restoration Project, the more recent Iron Bridge Viewing Platform Refurbishment and the disappointing news that the Iron Bridge is at risk again only 14 years after Peter Clarke, the late Anne Hearle and I concluded 7 years of hard work to secure its future.

Browse below for the full story...

Iron Bridge at risk again

Marple's historic Iron Bridge revealed to be at risk again

Unfortunately the Restoration Project wasn't the end of the story, as the council failed to carry out maintenance recommended in inspection reports following the bridge's restoration in 2008.

Iron Bridge flaking paint in May 2021

After spotting flaking paint during a visit to discuss the Viewing Platform Refurbishment in October 2020 I began corresponding with the council to try and persuade them to bring the next Principle Inspection forward from December 2021 (and already one year late due to Covid). I had been pushing for it to be done during the spring or summer but was only partially successful and it was eventually carried out in September 2021, with the report being made available in November 2021.

Read more: Iron Bridge at risk again

Iron Bridge Plaque Relocation

Iron Bridge Viewing Platform Refurbishment

In 2018 the bronze plaque at the Iron Bridge was at risk of being lost due to decay of the tree stump that it was mounted on. After a dialogue with the council and park stakeholders a project led by the Marple Website began in March 2019 with removal of the plaque for safe keeping.

Iron Bridge Plaque Relocation

The project to remove the stump, rebuild the platform, refurbish the bronze plaque and fit it on new bestpoke railings came together in stages over the next two and a half years with the help of Friends of Brabyns Park and Stockport Council with funding support from the Macnair Trust, Marple Area Committee, Marple Civic Society and others. The bespoke railings were made by Wayne Chaisty.

Read more: Iron Bridge Plaque Relocation

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The Iron Bridge Restoration Project Diaries

In 2001 The Marple Website began a campaign for the restoration of the Iron Bridge in Brabyns Park and was joined by Marple Local History Society in 2002. Later that year a partnership was formed with Stockport Council to find ways to fund its restoration.

The Iron Bridge Restoration Project

In 2003 the group made a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Project Planning Grant. After considerable delays, not least due to the discovery of a six-inch gas main that had been installed across the bridge in the 1980s, a scheme for the restoration was finalised in 2006.

A second Heritage Lottery Grant was awarded in 2007 and, with match funding raised with the help and support of the local community, the bridge’s future was secured. Restoration work was completed in 2008, in good time for the bridge’s Bicentennial anniversary in 2013.

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