The original Poohsticks bridge has been sold for £131,625, more than double the top end of the presale estimate of £40,000 to £60,000. Its new owner is Lord De La Warr, who owns the 2,000-acre Buckhurst Park estate in East Sussex.
De La Warr said he was delighted to be the successful bidder. The bridge would “take pride of place on the estate close to its original position”, he said.
Lord De La Warr’s father it seems used to play Poohsticks with Christopher Robin Milne, the only child of AA Milne.
The original wooden structure was built from oak in 1907 to carry pedestrians, horses and carts over a river in Ashdown Forest, the setting for the Pooh stories and poems. It was replaced with a replica in 1999 after visits by thousands of people keen to recreate the famous EH Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin leaning over the railings left it worn and rickety.
The original bridge was dismantled and placed in storage. It was then later reconstructed and restored, and relocated to Kent after a private sale.
The new owner said: “Winnie-the-Pooh’s attraction is the innocence of a bygone age; it’s so wholesome. There’s so much badness in the world, but Winnie-the-Pooh always brings a smile to your face.”