Storm Isha has taken a well-loved historic suspension bridge out of action following a collision with an object that hurtled down the river.

Yesterday (January 24), Sizergh Castle, Kendal, confirmed on its Facebook page that the suspension bridge over the River Kent had been damaged by the storm which wreaked havoc across the county at the beginning of the week.

The timber bridge, located by Low Park Wood caravan site, was built in 1878 for workers to access the Sedgwick Gunpowder Works.

The wrought iron linkages date back even further as they were taken from an earlier bridge whic are now being assessed. 

A spokesperson for National Trust, which manages Sizergh Castle, said: "The bridge has been initially assessed by a structural engineer, who has confirmed that the damage is likely to have been caused by impact from an object coming down the river and hitting the bridge.

"We are still assessing the impact on the bridge’s metal linkages. Once we have a better understanding of the scale of the works needed, we will be able to plot in a timeframe.

"The bridge will be closed for safety reasons until this work has been completed, and we’ll keep visitors updated with the progress."

The Westmorland Gazette: The bridge had structural and cosmetic improvements in SeptemberThe footbridge was only recently re-opened after an eight week restoration project. The structure doesn't only historical significance but is also key for nature on the Sizergh estate.

During the restorative works two pivotal animal-related discoveries were made.

One was of a rarely seen cave spider and her egg sac on the underside of the inspection chamber cover.

These spiders are not endangered but have an aversion to light, so it is unusual for humans to spot them in the open.

The other was footprints suggesting that bridge is also used by animals crossing the River Kent.