March 24, 2017

Swarkestone Bridge

This week is the first time of hosting Five on Friday by Tricky at FAST blog. So to welcome him and start things well, here's five views of a rather impressive structure close to where I live. Sorry about the photos. It's not the easier thing to capture on film. (Don't forget to visit Tricky's blog to see what other people have written.)

The Grade I listed Swarkestone Bridge and Causeway, at almost a mile in length, is the longest stone bridge in England. At one time a bridge chapel and toll house stood on the causeway but there is little sign of them now. The structure crosses the River Trent flood plain between Swarkestone and Stanton-by-Bridge and is still a significant crossing for travellers passing from Derby to Melbourne.

It carries a bus route and it's quite creative driving when you meet one coming the other way. As you can see, it's narrow, and the photo shows one of the wider bits!

Built in the 13th century, the causeway is reputed to be the work of two local sisters whose lovers drowned while trying to cross the flood plain in high water. The horrified sisters saw the men swept away by the river and vowed that no-one else would suffer the same fate.  They spent the rest of their lives building and maintaining the causeway and bridge and so were penniless when they died.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for taking us on a drive! The stone bridge does look very impressive. It always amazes me how long they have been around and how strong they still are. They were certainly built to last.

    Happy Five on Friday

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  2. That is quite the bridge and gives good photo opportunities. I'm visiting from Five on Friday.

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  3. The engineering and labour involved in building these old bridges fascinates me when they had no heavy machinery like we do today. They were obviously well built to have remained this long.

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  4. Hello! Visiting from Five on Friday. Your post was very interesting! Thank you.

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  5. Love the causeway and its history!!

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  6. What a fascinating origin of the causeway! I have to ask, how on earth do you find out all this amazing information to share with us every week?

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    1. They don't call me The History Anorak for nothing! I've been fascinated by the past for years and I have an extensive library of reference books - not to mention visiting the sites and picking up information while I'm there.

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    2. If only you could visit us I would be enthralled by the tales you have to tell!

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  7. Really interesting post. What a fascinating and sad story about the sisters who built the bridge. I can just imagine driving on it.

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  8. I've not heard of the bridge before but what a story it contains. Those poor ladies, how on earth did they build it.

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  9. Hey - that's a coincidence, HA - drove over this last weekend. I thought it was fascinating - loved the background you provided.

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  10. Wow! That is quite an amazing history for the bridge. Men build things today that don't last quite that long. :) Have a good weekend.

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  11. Great photos taken from different areas of the impressive causeway and bridge. After experiencing such a tragedy those sisters did a good work in having the construction done and maintained. Being in use today it's a memorial to them and those who built it.

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  12. Great post! Have a good week :)

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