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One of the world’s oldest cast-iron footbridges fully restored

Austcliffe footbridge finished Published Friday, 27th May 2022

One of the world’s oldest cast iron bridges has been fully restored and re-opened to the public in Worcestershire.

The Austcliffe footbridge over the River Stour near Caunsall, north of Kidderminster, was originally constructed c.1795, making it one of the first structures in the world ever to be made of cast iron.

Worcestershire County Council has undertaken extensive conservation works with its highways contractor, Ringway, to fully restore the bridge to its former glory.  The bridge was dissembled and lovingly restored to ensure that it was in keeping with its ancestry. 

Councillor Mike Rouse, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways and Transport said, “It is fantastic to see this unique footbridge being used once again by the local community. We have a rich industrial heritage here in our county and it is always encouraging to see this ancestor of a bridge fully restored so that future generations can enjoy it for many more years to come’’. 

The completed project included repairing, replacing, and repainting various elements of the bridge.  It also included a new ramp and railings leading to the bridge parapet, in keeping with the original character of the bridge.   

For further information about this historic asset, please visit the Public Rights of Way latest pages of the County Council website.