A bridge made famous by the Winnie the Pooh stories has sold for more than £131,000 at auction.
The honey-obsessed bear’s creator, AA Milne, played on the bridge in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, with his son, Christopher Robin Milne, where they invented the game of Poohsticks.
Bids for the century-old structure came in from all over the world, with a British nobleman coming out on top.
Originally built around 1907, the bridge rose to fame after being included in Milne’s children’s books and was officially renamed Poohsticks Bridge in 1979.
In 1999 it was taken apart after being worn out by thousands of tourists, and a replacement was built.
“I am delighted to have been able to purchase the original bridge.
“It will take pride of place on the estate, close to its original position, and I hope that many children (and adults) will be able to admire the original bridge which inspired one of the most famous games still played by children in the UK and abroad – Poohsticks.”
James Rylands, specialist in charge of the sale at Summers Place Auctions, said: “We were absolutely delighted that we could sell a piece of literary history which has given pleasure over the generations to millions of children around the world.
“We were thrilled by the interest the bridge received globally but are pleased that the bridge will stay in this country.”
Until recently parts of the original bridge had been kept at the Ashdown Forest Centre when the local parish council gave permission for it to be rescued and restored.
It was expected to fetch between £40,000 and £60,000 but reached more than double that when the winning bid of £131,625 (including buyer’s premium and VAT) was revealed today.
The auction coincides with the 100th year of the original Winnie the Pooh, who was given to Christopher Robin Milne as a fluffy companion on his first birthday in 1921.