The 19th Century bridge at Cobo
A Guernsey footbridge with family ties
The bridge over the Route de Carteret near Cobo is one of the only ones in Guernsey. The local landmark has been in place for more than a hundred years. We spoke to local historian Gillian Lenfesty about its history.
The bridge is built from local stone and joins two pieces of land originally owned by the same person on either side of the road.
The bridge was restored in 1978
Lord de Saumarez constructed the bridge because he did not want to walk from Saumarez Park, where he lived, to the sea without leaving his land. The bridge goes over the main road so he was able to walk from one end of the property to the other.
The bridge was built in the late 19th century and there is a huge amount of family history behind it.
Lord de Saumarez had three daughters and a son. He acquired land from Saumarez Park down to the bridge, over the bridge, and across to Grandes Rocques up to and including what was the Grandes Rocques hotel, including the Mare De Carteret.
The entrance to the bridge is overgrown
Gillian Lenfesty said, "His son had asthma and the doctor recommended the child should live as close to the sea as possible so Lord de Saumarez bought an old house at Grandes Rocques, enlarging it to be a school and later made it into the gothic edifice we see now."
The bridge was then brought by the States of Guernsey along with most of Lord De Saumarez's land after his death in the 1930s. It now forms part of the walk which runs from the back of Saumarez Park through Home Farm, down past the Ozanne Tower to the sea.
Gillian said, "This is really a working bridge there for an actual purpose to enable members of the family to go from one area of their property to another so it's not really a folly. The Ozanne Tower is a folly. Built there for no good reason other than for the sake of it."
The bridge was built of local stone and designed by Lord de Saumarez's private architect, Mr Quilter.
The bridge had to be rebuilt in the 1970s after a lorry either ran into it or was too tall to go under it and damaged it very badly. The restoration was completed in 1978.
last updated: 09/07/2009 at 10:03
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