The Folly bridge, or Sham Bridge as it is otherwise known, now stands proudly at the edge of the lake bed after the area was cleared in late 2007.
Whilst this folly looks to be a full bridge the arches are for show as no water runs underneath and only at times of very high rainfall does the lake fill and give the full impression.
However the bridge does supports a roadway above leading from Carshalton House to the Water Tower.
As can be seen in a picture above there are tree roots growing through the side of the bridge and the roadway above is still used to access the Water Tower and Infants school within the grounds of Carshalton House.
In mid 2010 the Trust had restoration work carried out on the Sham Bridge by Archer Stone Restoration Ltd. This was only made possible by considerable financial support from the Viridor Credits Environmental Company.
In restoring this garden folly the contractor carried out the following work:
- Removed tree stumps and redundant metal brackets, which had been attached to the piers
- Stabilized the cracked arches and repainted the dam wall a matt black to re-establish that illusion of depth
- Restored the eastern, arch voussoirs, bay and pier.
- The abutment flint walls and brick coping course were refurbished along the length of the Bridge
- The roundels on top of the piers were reformed with flint detail.
- The safety railings, which are set behind the Bridge, replaced trees and bushes to open up the 18th century vista across the Lake area.
In 2008 we were investigating the pipes which run in front of the bridge to see if they could be removed and the cracks in the three arches of the bridge have been monitored for movement.