Winnie the Pooh’s original Poohsticks Bridge goes on sale at Sussex auction

Poohsticks Bridge - the iconic bridge forever associated with Winnie the Pooh - is being sold at a Sussex auction next week.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:07 pm

The original bridge was built around 1907 in Ashdown Forest but has since been replaced with a new version.

However, the original Poohsticks Bridge has now been restored and is to be sold at Summers Place Auctions at Billingshurst on Tuesday (October 5).

It is expected to go for between £40,000-£60,000.

Poohsticks Bridge

Auctioneers say it provides a unique opportunity to buy a piece of literary history in the year Pooh Bear - created by A A Milne and illustrator E H Shepard - celebrates his 100th birthday,

He was given to Christopher Robin Milne on his first birthday in 1921.

The bridge is built as a sturdy river crossing for horses and carts as well as pedestrians in the forest and was originally known as Posingford Bridge.

It rose to fame when author A A Milne was inspired by his son Christopher Robin playing on it as a child in the 1920s - and they invented the game of Poohsticks. This then led to several books about Pooh, mentioning the bridge.

The first is in The House at Pooh Corner when Pooh accidentally drops a pine cone into a river from a bridge and after watching it disappear to the other side, devises the rules for Poohsticks.

It subsequently appeared in later books being played by other main characters - Christopher Robin, Eeyore and Tigger and was immortalised in E H Shepard’s illustrations.

This original bridge, made of carved oak, has been restored and reconstructed over the years replicating Shepard’s original illustrations and was reopened by Christopher Robin Milne and officially renamed by him as Poohsticks Bridge in 1979.

By 1999 the bridge had become worn by the thousands of visitors and was replaced with a new bridge built with financial help from local groups and the Disney Corporation.

Meanwhile, the original was dismantled and stored for many years in the Ashdown Forest Centre until recently when the local parish council gave permission for it to be rescued.

It is now being offered in situ in East Sussex, where viewing is strictly by appointment.

James Rylands, specialist in charge of the auction, said: ”Summers Place Auctions are delighted to be selling a piece of literary history which has given pleasure over the generations to millions of children around the world.“