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Monday, May 29, 2017

Tarr Steps

 

 The Tarr Steps are a medieval clapper bridge across the River Barle in a National Nature Reserve within the Exmoor National Park,

A typical clapper bridge construction, the bridge possibly dates to around 1000 BC. The stone slabs weigh up to 1-2 tons apiece. According to local legend, they were placed by the devil to win a bet. The bridge is 180 feet (55 m) long and has 17 spans. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

 

Myth has it that the Devil built the bridge at Tarr Steps and still has sunbathing rights on its stones. The myth says that the devil swore he would kill anyone who tried to cross his bridge. The terrified locals got the parson to face him. A cat was sent over the Bridge but was vaporized in a puff of smoke. The parson then set off and met the Devil midway. The Devil swore and intimidated him but the parson reciprocated equally and finally the Devil conceded to let people pass except when he wants to sunbathe.

 

Click here to see the repaired Tarr Steps at the offical opening (25th Feb 2013) after the flood of Dec 2012