Sidmouth’s iconic Jacob’s Ladder is due to be repainted and will undergo structural repairs from Tuesday (September 22).

Sidmouth’s iconic Jacob’s Ladder is due to be repainted and will undergo structural repairs from Tuesday (September 22)

The Grade II listed structure, originally built in the early 20th century, was last painted in 2014 and due to the Ladder’s exposed coastal location, the paint system is beginning to fail. It has also become stained by corroding metal elements.

Inspections completed by Devon County Council’s Bridges Team has also identified several corroding structural tie bars that require replacement. Repainting not only improves the aesthetics of an important part of Sidmouth’s landscape, but also helps to prolong the life of the wooden elements of the structure.

The works are anticipated to take two weeks to complete. During this period, Jacob’s Ladder will be closed to the public and will be surrounded by scaffold by the council’s contractors. A paint system suitable for the marine environment and stainless steel elements will be used in the repairs to ensure their longevity.

The Ladder has an interesting history. It was initially constructed as a steep wooden ladder in the 19th century but was found to be unsuitable for the clothing at the time. It was replaced in the 20th century to the design seen today.

Cllr Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for Coast, Country and Environment said:

Jacobs Ladder is a very important feature to Sidmouth, and therefore our Engineering Department has arrange for contractors to repair and repaint it. We realise this will be inconvenient to some, but the dates were specifically chosen not to clash with our busy summer season, but also provide suitable conditions for the scaffolding to be erected and work to be carried out safely in this extremely exposed location.”

The works will be undertaken by C. Sansom Ltd, who were appointed following a competitive tender process.