A 1790s ornamental stone bridge spanning the Rising Brook and once forming part of the landscaped grounds of Hagley Hall (demolished c.1932).
Reason for Listing
The ornamental bridge is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: for its simple, but carefully executed, V-joined rusticated masonry and vitruvian scroll decorative detail;
* Intactness: as a substantially intact ornamental garden feature dating from the 1790s;
* Group Value: for its association with the Grade II Listed Grotto situated c.55m to the south-east.
In 1752 Hagley Hall passed into the ownership of Assheton Curzon (1730-1820) who, in the late C18, remodelled the house and re-designed the surrounding landscape. This landscaping, which included works to both the house’s gardens and Hagley Park, resulted in several weirs and an ornamental bridge being constructed along the course of the Rising Brook, a watercourse that flows down from Cannock Chase, through Hagley Park and the neighbouring town of Rugeley before entering the River Trent. A grotto, which was also constructed at this time, stands c.105m to the north-east of the ornamental bridge and is listed at Grade II. In 1864 the hall was purchased by William Harrison, a local colliery owner, who augmented the brook with an ornamental pond which was constructed c.55 metres to the south-east of the bridge. The hall was sold to the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company in 1919 who, in around 1932, demolished the majority of the house, leaving only the central portion which had contained the kitchen and service quarters. This was acquired by Rugeley Urban District Council in 1967 for use as an arts centre before it was demolished c.1985 when the site was developed for housing. The ornamental bridge, along with the pond and one of the weirs, now survive within a private garden.
Ornamental bridge, built in the 1790s for Assheton Curzon of Hagley Hall, possibly by Joe Illidge of Northwitch and Lostock.
MATERIALS: stone with wrought and cast iron.
DESCRIPTION: a single-span ornamental bridge consisting of a low segmental arch constructed from rusticated V-jointed voussoirs, which have vermiculated rustication. The abutments have shallow rustication with V-jointed ashlar and a band of stone coping carved with vitruvian scroll ornamentation runs across the top of the stonework. Surmounting this is a wrought-iron balustrade which is ornamented with a lattice pattern to the lower section over which runs a band of concentric circles. This, in turn, is topped by a cast-iron hand rail; a section of balustrade to the west face is missing. The four circular stone end piers are surmounted by stone vases; that to the south-west is inscribed JOE ILLIDGE NORTHWICH and that to the north-west is inscribed JOE ILLIDGE LOSTOCK
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.