Maid of the Bridge is a unique piece of public art installed on the newly developed Riverside site in Bath in 2018. The sculpture was created using the 172 sections of puddled wrought iron bars reclaimed from the original chains of the adjacent Victoria Bridge when it went through a process of conservation and reconstruction in 2015. The bridge was originally designed and built in 1836 by local entrepreneur, James Dredge, who was a brewer in Bath and designed the bridge to carry beer from his brewery across the river without using a ferry.
Local Council, Bath and North East Somerset and the developers were keen to use the original wrought iron in some way to show their recognition of the historical importance of this Grade II Listed structure and of the history of local industry in the area.
The resulting work steeped in the site history was created by a collaborative of local companies, bringing together art, history, heritage blacksmithing skills and engineering.
This project celebrates heritage skills, historical engineering and the industrial heritage of the site whilst also connecting the past to the future, embracing modern engineering skills and skilled hand-crafted work.
Maid of the Bridge flows in the same direction as the flow of the river which is a nice touch as it has spent the last 182 years spanning the river and now, she flows with it.