Officially opened on 6August 1879, the Maidstone Bridge was opened when huge crowds gathered amid great celebrations. The engineer behind the bridge was Sir Joseph Bazalgette, (renowned for his work on the London sewer system), and the opening was presided over by the Mayor of Maidstone Charles Ellis when a medal was struck in commemoration of the day.
Bridge Works is a touring exhibition which offers visitors the chance to explore a fascinating interactive display from the Rochester Bridge Trust looking at how the bridges along the River Medway, including Maidstone’s bridge, developed from the Roman period to today.
Museum Director, Victoria Barlow, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the Rochester Bridge Trust and to be hosting this fascinating exhibition which has contributed to such a huge part of Maidstone’s history for 141 years.
“The Bridge Works exhibition has something for all the family as it is interactive, fascinating and is a free to enter.”
Russell Cooper, Senior Warden of the Rochester Bridge Trust added:
“The Rochester Bridge Trust has provided and maintained crossings of the River Medway for more than 600 years – with the first bridge on the site built almost 2,000 years ago – but there is still much that remains unknown about the organisation among the general public, as visitors to the Bridge Works exhibition have been discovering.
“Bridge Works is a touring exhibition that brings this story to life. It has been designed to appeal to adults and children with something for all levels of ability and interest – and has already proved popular during appearances in Tonbridge and across Medway.”
The exhibition is free to enter and runs from Wednesday 6 August 2020 – Monday 26 July 2021. Maidstone Museum’s opening times are currently 10.00–17.00hrs with a last admission at 16.30hrs. Social distancing means that a one-way system is in place throughout the building. Visitors are asked to wear a face covering and will be asked to provide contact details as part of the Government’s Track and Trace scheme.
Find out more about Maidstone Museum on the website:https://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/