The famous Bigsweir Bridge, over the River Wye on the A466, is one of the iconic views in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) as it crosses over from Wales to England.
As travellers drive over the bridge they may be curious to see what is going to happen to the well known Bigsweir Toll House which has recently been covered by scaffolding.
The iconic Grade 2 listed building, which has been in disrepair for over a decade, is to get a makeover which will enhance the view of the bridge and stop the gradual rot and decay which together with vandalism has bought the Toll House to its knees.
This project has been supported by Welsh Assembly Government's Sustainable Development Fund in the Wye Valley enabling a grant of £19,000 to be made along with grants from Trellech Community Council, the Welsh Churches and a donation by the building's owner Charles Hopkinson.
The elegant cast iron road bridge was built in 1827 as part of the new turnpike road constructed up the lower part of the Wye valley between Chepstow and Monmouth.
The bridge comprising of a single arch of 50 metres was designed by Charles Hollis of London and cast at Merthyr Tydfil.
In the eighties works to re-roof and upgrade the building were undertaken. Unfortunately these works and the theft of lead and roof tiles led to increased dampness and decay and it became a sad, sorry and unsafe place.
Survey work was undertaken to determine the extent of the decay and methods to halt the rot and bat survey work was carried out by the Monmouthshire Bat Group throughout the summer of 2011.
The resultant report indicated that the Toll House hosts a range of our Wye Valley Bat species including the rare Lesser Horseshoe bat. Bat Group have agreed to monitor the bats over the coming years.
The work will take six weeks and be carried out by Lydney-based builder Nigel Jenkins.