Cordelia Bridge

A long-forgotten bridge has been rebuilt at a Stoneleigh Abbey after the original was discovered on a 130-year-old photo.

Stoneleigh Abbey had no idea the bridge ever existed until an eagle-eyed researcher spotted the bridge while digging through the former monastery’s archives.

The photo shows the daughter of Lord Leigh, the former resident of the stately home, standing on the bridge in about 1886.

The foundations were then discovered in the grounds of the Grade I listed building and an oak replica of the bridge has now been built, which is in full working order.

“Whilst doing research for the Repton Walks, trustee Dorothy Ingle came across an old photo of Lord Leigh’s daughter, Cordelia Leigh, standing on a bridge - possibly taken on her 20th birthday in July 1886.

“This bridge going over the River Avon connected land with what’s known as gazebo island, but any signs of this bridge had long gone.

“However, further investigation revealed, hidden by overgrown bush, the original foundations of the bridge.

“As to what happened to this bridge, nobody knows, but after extensive funding a replica made of oak has been reinstalled meaning customers can now enjoy the walks Cordelia obviously did over 100 years ago.

“The board of trustees have named the bridge the Lady Cordelia Bridge in her honour.”

© 2014 Stoneleigh Abbey Charitable Trust             Registered Charity No 1058526

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