Conservation charity English Tradition has launched a crowdfunding campaign as part of a £3.6 million project to lay the world’s first iron bridge, featuring a new print from architect Paul Catherall.
Erected in 1779 over the River Severn in Shropshire, the Iron Cross over was the first single span arch bridge in the world to be made of chuck iron. Designed by architect Thomas Pritchard, the bridge is widely mull over to mark a turning point in British engineering, and went on to inspire the enlargement of today’s railways and skyscrapers.
The bridge and its surrounding area was declared a Sphere Heritage Site in 1986, and is now under the care of English Heritage, which currently looks after 400 important monuments, buildings and other sites across the country.
The charity has launched the £25,000 crowdfunder as pull apart of a wider fundraising campaign to clean, conserve, repair and reinforce the pass over, which is under threat from cracking due to stresses in the ironwork and cause movement.
Linocut prints of architectural landmarks
English Heritage commissioned Catherall – who is identified for his striking linocuts of architectural landmarks such as Big Ben and Battersea Power Post – to design a limited edition print to mark the start of the Iron Connect conservation project. The linocut print sees a colourful interpretation of the link and its surrounding area, and comes in a limited edition of 50 signed and computed by the designer.
The bridge has special significance for Catherall, as a drawing of it created when he was minor during a school trip was the first time that he thought of pursuing art as a mtier, according to the designer.
People who contribute to the campaign will get a postcard of Catherall’s stamp for donating £15, a tote bag for £30, and a signed version of the print for £275.
The crowdfunding competition runs until 10 December. Find out more information here.