Nyeri Bridge

This is a bridge fit for a queen – based on a photo in the paper of the young Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip at the Royal Lodge, Nyeri just before she became Queen in 1952. It is ideal for crossing a wide but shallow river and additional A frames can be added to make it any length you wish.


  • 16 x 2.5m (8ft) spars
  • 15 x 5m (16ft) spars
  • 8 x 1.2m (4ft) spars
  • 4 pickets + sledge hammer or maul
  • 2 x 20m ropes for handrails
  • 52 lashing lengths

Additional materials for each extra span

  • 8 x 2.5m spars
  • 4 x 1.2m spars
  • 4 x 1.2m spars
  • 16 lashing lengths
  • 2 x 6m ropes


Using 12 x 2.5m (8ft) spars, prepare four identical A frames with the bottom spar far enough from the butts so that when they are standing in the water, the bottom spar will stay dry.

Take one pair of A frames and join them using 2 x 1.2m (4ft) spars. These spars are lashed just above the bottom spars of the A frame. A second 1.2m (4ft) spar is then lashed approx 1m down from the top of the frames on either side.

Repeat with the other pair of A frames.

Manoeuver the two pairs of A frames into the stream and lash one end of a 2.5m spar to the outside of each frame. The other end sits in the stream to act as a brace, keeping the A frames upright.

The 15 x 5m spars form the base of the bridge. Place 5 of these spars from the bank to the upper 1.2m (4ft) spar so that the end of the 5m spars is level with the apex of the A frame, and lash them in place. A further 5 x 5m span between the two frames and finally the last 5m spars are placed between the bank and the other frame. They should all be lashed in place.

Knock in the 4 pickets either side of the bridge where the 5m spars rest on the banks. Tie the handrail rope to the pickets, across to the top of first one then the other of the A frames and back down to the other two pickets.

Note: Since the design of the project the principles of Health and Safety have changed dramatically.
Caution should be exercised to assess the risks associated with this build and especially regarding possible falls from height, so handrails or belays and harnesses may be required.

To download the complete plan and design document please Click Here

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
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