Two Bridges is an isolated location in the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, England. It is situated around 2.5 km (1.6 mi) north east of Princetown on the old turnpike road which was built across Dartmoor in the late 18th century (now known as the B3212).
A map dated 1765 suggests the origin of the name, for in those days the road crossed both the West Dart and the River Cowsic, just upstream from the point where they meet, and required two separate bridges.
By 1891, these had disappeared and there was just a single bridge, further downstream, over the West Dart. Today, however, there are again two bridges on the site, because a more modern structure has been added alongside its earlier predecessor, to carry modern traffic. Visitors often mistakenly assume that these are the same two bridges that gave the name to the site.
In the 18th century, Two Bridges was best known for its potato market. The site was no doubt chosen because it is in a central location, and easily accessible on what was then, and still is now, the only usable road across Dartmoor. Some small quarries in the vicinity show that there was also light industry in the area.
Those who met and worked in this remote spot were able to gain refreshment and lodging at the Saracen's Head. It was built in 1794 as a coaching inn, and still stands there today, although it is now known as the Two Bridges Hotel.
It continues to be a popular meeting point for tourists and walkers. The area is also surrounded by prehistoric antiquities, including Bronze age settlements, stone rows and an impressive standing stone, the Beardown Man, situated to the north west. The Devonport Leat - a man-made waterchannel - passes nearby.
The Legend of the Hairy hands (Local ghost story)
- "Two Bridges". Google Maps. Retrieved 2006-11-20.