Repairs have been completed to an historic bridge that featured in Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles following its partial collapse in January 2018.

Initialemergencyworkincludedinstalling40bagsofgabionstonetosupportthecollapsedsectionofWoolbridge,afterrivererosioncausedpartofthewallandarchtoslipintotheriver.

The 10-month project employed specialist equipment and professional expertise to ensure a sympathetic and long-lasting repair to the grade II-listed bridge, which dates back to Elizabethan times.

Throughout the works, Wessex Archaeology has provided a ‘watching brief’ in case of any significant finds and to chart the history of the bridge.

Damaged stonework was replaced with stone provided and cut by Haysom Purbeck Stone, and the original lime mortar was chemically analysed and replicated by Rose of Jericho.

Jack Wiltshire, Dorset Highways contracts manager, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the work we have carried out on Wool bridge and we’re pleased to have worked with individuals who are experts in their field. This partnership approach has ensured a long-lasting repair to this much-loved bridge.”

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