I did not know what to expect when we set off for Loddiswell to walk along the River Avon. I had seen signs to it on my way to Kingsbridge but thought no more of it.
Was it going to be like any other river in this part of the world? Well, no, it wasn’t because nowhere else had I felt like I was in a tropical glade as I did this time. The standing water did not smell stagnant as I had expected it would. The day was cloudless allowing the sun to penetrate deep into the forest floor and river bed.
I did not photograph the path along the disused railway line because its convergent sides meeting at infinity were too prescriptive – I was not going to have my photographs dictated to me by predetermined lines, regardless of where, if or when they meet.
Such a well-built, solid structure reminded me of our Brunel project all those years ago. I cannot find out who designed it & only found this entry for Topsham Bridge which is not this one – we did not get as far as Topsham Bridge:
LODDISWELL SX 75 SW 2/85
Road bridge over River Avon. C18 or C19, incorporating C16 arch. Coursed rubble, squared granite coping, with series of regularly-spaced vertical through-stones. The original pointed arch now contained with segmental arch to voussoirs at later road widening. Parapets at c.1.25m above roadway which is c.3.5m wide; parapets swept down and round to stopped ends on west side, in Loddiswell c.p., and carried round to continuous wall on south-east side c.50m; north-east side returned to stopped end, both these in Woodleigh c.p. Parapet rises at centre, and the whole is a graceful design, incorporating important historic fabric.
This entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 29 September 2016.
The Kingsbridge SWR line:
Kingsbridge branch line was a single track branch line railway in Devon, England. The line, which became known as the Primrose Line, opened in 1893 and despite local opposition closed in 1963. It left the Exeter to Plymouth line at Brent and ran 12 miles (19 km), following the route of the River Avon to Kingsbridge.
I have ordered a book on the GWR because I simply could not find references to these beautiful bridges on any of the maps available online. All I discovered was that from 1850 onwards, there were many attempts to fund the line from Brent to Kingsbridge. It was eventually opened in 1893.
The raised wooden walkway was so inviting but I could not access it without the fear of breaking an ankle or two. Next time I go there, I shall get onto it and see what I can see along the way.
The inside construction so reminds me of Brunel bridges that I wonder if he did build them. As soon as my book arrives I will be able to find out.
From here, we walked over the double-arched bridge along the old railway track to Topsham Bridge which is a vehicle and pedestrian bridge rather than a railway bridge.