Kirkby Lonsdale - Devil's Bridge

Devil's Bridge

The town is noted for the Devil's Bridge (54°11′56″N 2°35′24″W / 54.199°N 2.590°W / 54.199; -2.590) over the River Lune, dating from around 1370 and constructed of fine gritstone ashlar. It has three spans, the western two measuring 54.75 feet (16.69 m) each and the eastern one 29 feet (8.8 m). The piers are hexagonal, measuring 60 feet (18 m) around.

A great flood will easily reach the base of the arches and run over the tops of the cutwaters. In common with many bridges of the same name, legend holds that the Devil appeared to an old woman, promising to build a bridge in exchange for the first soul to cross over it. When the bridge was finished, the woman threw bread over the bridge and her dog chased after it, thereby outwitting the Devil. Several large stones in the surrounding area, including the Great Stone of Fourstones, are ascribed to the Devil's purse-strings bursting open as he ferried masonry to build it.

The section of river underneath Devil's Bridge is popular with scuba divers because of the relatively easy access and egress, deep rock pools (about 5 metres during a low swell), and good visibility.

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