Friday, 31 March 2017


Been a  lovely spring day, and  at about five o'clock this afternoon we decided to go for a walk down to the river and back. The top two photos show the area where a large watermill stood over our  river (the Brett) until it burned down in (I think) the early nineteen seventies.

The top  two photos  show  the  remaining  arrangements to supply   river water to the  old mill.

The above photo shows what is claimed to be the oldest bridge, still used for its original purpose, in England. Not too  sure  about that, but it is a very old bridge, and it is still used for heavy and agricultural traffic to cross the Brett.   The thing I never understand is that  the bridge is built on a long curve. You'd think that a short straight crossing would be the easiest thing to build and use, but  I suppose there must be a reason for the curve. Any (sensible please) suggestions as to why it's built on a curve would be welcome.

Think I'm about  to  be called upstairs to supper (you must remember that your blogger slaves away  for your enlightenment in the depths of a large,  old Inn, originally, cellar.

Good Night  all.


Crowbard said...

Ancient fishing pathways lead down to the river from both sides, eventually these became roads leading to the best crossing point and the bridge was built there. But the original pathways were made on the firmest ground following a geological course rather than a geometrically desirable one. There is a hoary myth that the street plan of Boston, USA followed the cow paths, and Sam Foss wrote a poem:-
The Calf-Path by Sam Foss


One day through the primeval wood
A calf walked home as good calves should;

But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And I infer the calf is dead.


But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day,
By a lone dog that passed that way;

And then a wise bell-wether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,

And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade.
Through those old woods a path was made.


And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about,

And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because ‘twas such a crooked path;

But still they followed — do not laugh —
The first migrations of that calf,

And through this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.


This forest path became a lane,
that bent and turned and turned again;

This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.


The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;

And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare.

And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half,
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.


Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about

And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.

A Hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent,
To well established precedent.


A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained and called to preach;

For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,

And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.

But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf.

Ah, many things this tale might teach—
But I am not ordained to preach.

Crowbard said...

Hi Mike,
Just remembered to send you a letter about "Fire-steels" ~ sorry for delay ~ my forgetory has been working overtime lately.

Pat said...

Could the reason possibly be aesthetic -curves being more beautiful than straight lines?

Mike said...

Hell Pat. Yes, I think you might have a good point, especially in this case where Toppesfield Bridge blends in very well with its surroundings.

Mike said...

P.s. Sorry Pat. That should haver been Hello Pat.