Save the wobbly bridge

by national-trust-allen-banks in Bardon Mill

We did it
On 6th March 2014 we successfully raised £10,520 with 130 supporters in 49 days

We need to raise £10,000 towards our work to reinstate the Victorian Suspension Bridge that has been out of action for months after it was severely damaged during floods last year. Trees fell into the Victorian footbridge after being washed downstream – badly cracking the original stone steps which support the bridge, while the wooden crossing has become mangled wreckage. The bridge is one of the only surviving features of since the wilderness garden was created in 1850 and is a key part of what makes Allen Banks a special place for many generations of local families.

by national-trust-allen-banks in Bardon Mill

We have reached our target!  Thank you so much for your support.  It has taken us one step closer to reaching the £100,000 we need to rebuild the wobbly bridge!

The much-loved wobbly bridge at Allen Banks in Hexham has been out of action for months after it was swept away in the May 2013 floods. This wonderful, historically important place needs your help. We’re raising £10,000 toward the rebuilding of the Victorian footbridge and surrounding paths, restoring them for future generations to enjoy.

 visitors walking across the wobbly bridge before it was damaged

The National Trust is a charity founded in 1895 to preserve our nation’s heritage and open spaces. Over 100 years later these values are still at the heart of everything we do. We rely on funding through memberships, income and donations to look after the variety of places in our care. We restore them, protect them and keep them open for everyone to enjoy.

We do this because open space, nature and heritage are important in all our lives. They provide an escape, memorable experiences for all ages and opportunities to learn and improve our health. The belief that everyone has a right to enjoy these benefits is what inspires us to carry on the work of our founders.

the damaged bridge

 Allen Banks is one of those special places. A Victorian wilderness with walks along a river gorge cutting through ancient woodland. It has both beauty and tranquillity with miles of footpaths to explore. It’s not just important to humans either - Allen Banks is classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its rich plant and animal life.

The wobbly bridge (or to give it’s full name, the Victorian Suspension Bridge) is one of the only surviving features of the wilderness garden created in 1850 by Susan Davidson as part of the Ridley Hall estate. Local people have been visiting the site with their families for generations. Children have always loved the excitement of bouncing across the bridge, and it’s a valuable historical and cultural feature.   Unfortunately the floods caused trees and other debris to fall into the Victorian footbridge at Allen Banks after being washed downstream – badly cracking the original stone steps which support the bridge, while the wooden crossing has become mangled wreckage.

We need to raise £100,000 in total to restore the bridge. This crowd funding appeal will raise the £10,000 needed to restore the wooden planks, and fix the original Victorian chains. We’ll also instate a set of stepping stones to give another way to cross the river that kids, big and small, will love as much as wobbling across the bridge.

We’ve raised nearly £45,000 so far through local funding and partnerships. We are working on raising the remaining funding required through public, individual and charitable trust donations, and hope to achieve this by June this year so that the bridge can be reinstated over the Summer months.

If we’re successful in reinstating the bridge we aim to get Allen Banks on the Parks and Gardens register, and recognised as a Victorian Wilderness Garden created by Susan Davidson which formed part of the Ridley Hall estate. Preserving its important historical features will enable us to achieve this.

If you would like to discuss your pledge with us then please do contact us on 01904 771922 or 07795 046559.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

£10 - You can nominate a name to put up in our Pagoda in Allen Banks in recognition of your gift.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

On the weekend when we reopen the bridge we would like to fill the bridge with the names of those who have helped us to rebuild it. You can choose a name and a message to be tied to the bridge – you can send a message of love, or remember someone close to you. We hope to be featuring an image of the bridge covered in these messages in the local media.

£150 or more

£150 Reward

We will be commissioning a local photographer and artist to create an image of the bridge when it is reinstated and will send you a limited and signed copy of this piece on completion.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

We will be putting up a permanent plaque on the abutment and you can choose a name to be engraved on this permanent thank you and memorial

£1,000 or more

£1,000 Reward

You can have a name inscribed on a stepping stone or on the wooden planks of the bridge to recognise your gift. You will also be invited to the opening of the bridge and be given a personal tour of Allen Banks by our rangers. A photographer will also be taking a group photograph that you can choose to be a part of – capturing a moment in history of this special place for future generations!

Got an idea like this?

Over £100 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.