AN 18th century bridge has reopened after being restored to its former glory.

Scampston Hall’s Palladian Bridge, designed by landscape architect ‘Capability’ Brown, was reopened the public after a six-month restoration project, supported by Natural England.

The project saw the pillars of the bridge stripped of their sand finish and dismantled, before being repaired and repainted. Extensive repairs and re-leading of the roof will provide long-term preservation, while the back wall has also been repointed and repainted.

The lead decorations to the bridge were also reworked to ensure those all-important details were retained. A hidden plunge pool at the back of the bridge, historically used for bathing, was emptied and cleaned to reveal a brickwork finish in its base.

The core structure of the bridge is made from wood, making its restoration a complex process.

The project was managed by Malton-based building conservator Nigel Copsey and conservation stonemason Sam Baxter.

Chris Legard, owner of Scampston Hall, said: “It is so satisfying to see this wonderful structure being given a new lease of life and to know that, thanks to the generous support of Natural England, it will continue to give many people pleasure for generations to come.

"‘Capability’ Brown’s Palladian Bridge is the most surprising and eye-catching building we have here and is something of an ‘odd one out’, but that is also why it’s so magnificent. When you come around a corner and it is revealed to you – it is a beautiful surprise.

"Huge thanks to Sam, Nigel and the team for doing such a magnificent job.”

The work to the Palladian Bridge has been made possible due to the support of Natural England, under a Higher Level Stewardship Agreement.

This follows a number of other projects at Scampston which have been part of the Environmental Stewardship programme, supported by Natural England, including the dredging of the Lower Lake, and the conservation and repair of buildings associated with Scampston’s 18th century horse-racing stud.

The walled garden and parkland are open to the public, from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm, until Sunday, October 28.