Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion
Devil's Bridge (Welsh: Pontarfynach, lit. "The bridge on the Mynach") is a village in Ceredigion, Wales. Above the River Mynach on the edge of the village is the unusual road bridge from which the village gets its English name.
The village is best known for the bridge spanning the Afon Mynach, a tributary of the Rheidol. The bridge is unusual in that three separate bridges are coexistent, each one built upon the previous bridge. The most recently built is an iron bridge (1901), which was built over a stone bridge (1753), which was built when the original bridge was thought to be unstable. The builders of the 1753 bridge used the original bridge (built 1075–1200) to support scaffolding during construction.
The bridge is at a point where the River Mynach drops 90 metres (300 ft) in 5 steps down a steep and narrow ravine before it meets the River Rheidol. The set of stone steps leading down to the lowest bridge at the waterfall are known as Jacob's Ladder.
According to the legend the original bridge was built by the Devil, as it was too difficult for mortals to build. The agreement stipulated that the Devil would build the bridge in return for the soul of the first living thing to cross the bridge. The Devil built the bridge but was tricked by an old woman who threw bread onto the bridge. Her dog crossed the bridge for the bread, thus becoming the first life to cross the new bridge.
Devil's Bridge has been a tourist attraction for centuries. The celebrated English author George Borrow wrote Wild Wales (1854), which includes a lively, humorous account of his visit to Pontarfynach. The George Borrow Hotel, a 17th-century inn where Borrow reputedly stayed during his visit, is located nearby.
Devil's Bridge featured prominently in the opening two episodes of the 2013 Welsh-language crime noir, Y Gwyll, shown on S4C and subsequently on BBC4 (as Hinterland).
- List of bridges in Wales
- Coed Rheidol National Nature Reserve
- Devil's Bridge for other bridges of the same name.
Media related to Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion at Wikimedia Commons