Guide Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth

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5. Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder itself is the tall white set of steps that have been constructed to link the gardens to the beach below.

This is not, however, the first structure in this location. An access in this area dates back to mid-19th century when steps were cut into the cliff. This developed into a cart track used to transport lime (brought in by boat from places such as Branscombe) to the lime kiln which has now been converted into the tea rooms.

Cliff erosion caused the path to fall in 1870 but access to the beach had become so popular with the Victorian's that they built an extremely long ladder, like Jacob's ladder to heaven (hence the name). The steep ladder was not popular though as it was difficult to use in the dress of the day. So, a new ladder was built in much the same style as the steps today.

The chine with the zigzag path down to the beach was created in the 1950's. The esplanade walk around the base of the cliff was completed a few years later.