The Devil’s Bridge is at a dramatic point in the landscape where the River Mynach tumbles ninety boiling metres in five steps down a steep and narrow ravine before it meets the River Rheidol and is unusual in that there are three separate bridges each one built over the previous one. The most recent is an iron bridge (1901), which was built over a stone bridge (1753), which was built when the original bridge was declared to be unstable.
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Good morning Andrew,
Back to fitness after an extraordinarily debilitating viral infection.
What can I say here that is relevant to your sound words on The Devil’s Bridge?
Let’s see …
Well, I remember reading about it as a kid. George Borrow’s Wild Wales was handed down to me by my brother, when I was 13, and I dearly loved it.
It is a long time since I paid my few shekels to get in to the attraction, but your words brought it all back, like it was yesterday.
I remember finding the place very pleasant and moderately engaging, but (if truthful) feeling just a little underwhelmed by it.
And as I am not a structural engineer, I guess I went there like most people go there: not to see BRIDGES, but to see WATERFALLS.
(Whereas in contrast, when you go to – say – Ironbridge, you DO go to see the bridge, first and foremost: the village and the River Severn second.)
So I went to see the waterfalls. Had I been to High Force by then?
I am not sure. But if I had, that might explain my less-than-delirious response.
Had William Wordsworth been to Cautley Spout in rainy winter (before he visited The Devil’s Bridge and waterfalls)?? Again, I am not sure. But given the relative proximity of his home to Cautley Spout, then I think it very likely.
And if he HAD been there, then how could he write this on The Devil’s Bridge?
From what huge height, descending? Can such force
Of waters issue from a British source…
Go to Cautley Spout dear Willie, and you will see! Were you on your pal Sam’s hallucinogens at the time you were in Wales?
Mind you, I have a theory that Wordsworth was prone to taking commissions from the early forerunners of our various local tourist boards. His hyperbole knew no bounds.
In South East Wales, he made Tintern Abbey appear like Nirvana’s alternative attraction! And he did the same in Mid Wales here.
I confess that I am a paid-up-member of the Oscar Wilde school on waterfalls. I guess that I more-or-less subscribe to his famous opinion on Niagara Falls.
But, I must breathe those words back in, because High Force really did sort of make an unexpected impact on me.
I mean, maybe I was predisposed to like the falls there, because I very much admire Teesdale. And yet, the falls there of course are – in truth -extremely modest in height.
Yet they worked for me somehow.
Glad to hear that you are feeling better.
I haven’t been to High Force but I have been to Hawdraw Force in Yorkshire which with a drop of 100 feet or so claims to be the highest unbroken waterfall in England. I visited in Summer 1997 when it was no more than a disappointing dribble but I went again in January 2002 when after a period of heavy rain it was very dramatic indeed.
Two interesting things about Hawdraw are that:
To visit the falls visitors have to go through the Green Dragon pub and pay at the bar on the way through.
A scene from ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’ was filmed there when Robin takes a bath in the pool beneath the waterfall.
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