Fingle Bridge Dartmoor National Park Devon
Fingle Bridge is a 17th-century stone arch bridge carrying an unclassified road over the River Teign near Drewsteignton, within Dartmoor National Park in Devon, England. This packhorse bridge has three arches and the two central piers are surrounded by triangular cutwaters extending upwards to form pedestrian refuges, and is a Grade II listed building.
Fingle Bridge takes its name from Fingle Brook, a minor tributary which flows into the Teign adjacent to the bridge. Fingle is derived from the old English “fang”, meaning to catch, a reference to the suitability of the stretch of river for fishing.
The bridge sits in the base of the deep Teign Gorge, between the ancient hillforts of Prestonbury Castle 130 metres (430ft) above the river to the north and Cranbrook Castle 230 metres (750ft) above to the south, and the bridge is built on the historic crossing point between the two. In its early years the bridge was an important crossing over the Teign used by packhorses transporting corn and wood products across the gorge, although the track up to Cranbrook Castle is now an unmaintained byway such that the bridge leads only to a car park on the south side of the river for roadgoing vehicles, the bridge’s function having been replaced by the larger and more accessible Dogmarsh Bridge further upstream on the A382 road.
English Heritage believe the arches were repaired, in the 19th century.
In 1897 Jesse Ashplant founded the Fingle Bridge Tea Shelter on the north landing of the bridge, serving refreshments to the fishermen, tourists and grain carriers of the day. This developed into the Anglers’ Rest pub and was later renamed as the Fingle Bridge Inn.
In 1955 Fingle Bridge was designated a Grade II listed building, reclassified in 1967 as Grade II.
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