Monday, March 17, 2014

Building Bridges...

We have long wanted to build a bridge over the lake end of the brook. It is an essential part of the landscaping, as without it one has to either walk around the lake or jump the brook (easy to do on horseback, but not so easy for a bride in a wedding dress. Initially we were going to build a dry stone wall along the brook, and were therefore going to have a dry stone bridge to match, like the ones below. ..

However, due to a lack of schist in the north island, the cost of transporting the stone and hiring the hard-to-find dry-stone wallers (for it is a dying art), we decided to plant Dietes orchids thickly along the bank of the brook where the wall was to have gone. That left us considering other options. 

Wooden bridges are a very cheap and easy alternative that we could have built ourselves, but are not the right look for Willowbrook. Even a grand oriental-styled bridge such as at Stowe or as seen in Monet's waterlily paintings would not fit with the Palladian architecture of the folly, or the manor house. 

We had to think about something more neoclassical, more Georgian. So we began taking inspiration from the Palladian bridges of Stowe and Wilton, and down-scaling them somewhat...

We were working on this when we stumbled across these perfect examples on Tumblr of little neoclassical bridge (above and below), which could be made simply out of the same urns, plinths and balustrades that we are casting en mass for the terrace. It would tie in well with the architecture of the park, be simple and cost effective to make. So, this Winter when the terrace is being made and the lake folly erected, we will have our team build us a bridge...


  1. I look forward to seeing more of your bridge. I can't help but admire your preparedness to make Willowbrook as complete as possible!

  2. What an excellent addition to your project! The repetition of the balustrades will help tie the landscape and architecture together and be so much easier for you to install at the same time. I'm sure it will be a favourite photo spot once it's done.

    The bridge at Stowe with the main building in the background is particularly charming and highlights how yours will work. I can't wait for the final outcome.


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