Four years ago contractors began dismantling the old Destructor Bridge across the River Avon.
It would be making way for a new – coathanger-styled – connecting bridge to allow traffic in and out of the new Bath Riverside development being constructed by Crest Nicholson.
The old iron truss bridge dated back to the 1870’s and was originally an integral part of the Midland Railway – and installed to provide road access to the Bath terminus at Green Park Station.
It was sold in 1905, when it was deemed unsuitable for Midland Railway purposes, and moved to Midland Road.
It was named the ‘Destructor bridge’ as it then joined the city’s recycling yard to a giant incinerator situated across the river. The incinerator was known as a ‘Destructor’ thereby providing the bridge’s new title.
Bath Newseum has always hoped that the ornamental decorative scrolls that were a feature of the bridge’s Upper Bristol Road side would be retained and used somehow as a link with the past.
True to their word Crest Nicholson have kept them under cover while the new Destructor Bridge was put in place and two landmark blocks of apartments built nearby.
Royal View and Sovereign Point will be linked by a public park – which is due to be ready for a September opening – and it’s here that those two original scrolls will be taking pride of place.
Bath Newseum went down to see them in the company of Peter Dickinson who is the Arts Consultant for the Bath Riverside development.
The new eight-acre park is due to be opened in September.
The two scrolls should be in place at either end. Another link with Bath’s heritage and the history of this riverside land where at least part of a brownfield site is turning green.
Peter Dickinson later kindly sent me some images of the scrolls being loaded onto lorries to be taken away for restoration.