"It is by far the finest bridge in the north of England", wrote Edwyn Jervoise in 1931. Like the similarly ancient Twizel Bridge (in Northumberland), it is a ribbed arch, a type I always find visually attractive. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and a very handsome structure.
The bridge dates to the 13th or 14th century, and as with many other structures around Europe, it was reputed to have been built by the Devil. An old woman made a deal with the Devil for him to build the bridge in return for the first soul to cross over. She then tricked him by throwing bread across the bridge so that her dog ran over it first. The story is recounted in more detail in George Bernard Wood's book, Bridges in Britain.
There are many variants on this tale for the many so-called Devil's Bridges, suggesting that the poor fellow struggled to learn any lessons from being repeatedly tricked.
- Google maps / Bing maps
- Engineering Timelines
- English Heritage
- The Ancient Bridges of the North of England (Jervoise, 1931)
- British Bridges (Public Works, Roads and Transport Congress, 1933)
- Bridges in Britain (Wood, 1970)
- Civil Engineering Heritage: Northern England (Rennison, 1996)
- An Encyclopaedia of Britain's Bridges (McFetrich, 2010)