The Devils Bridge
There are three bridges over this part of the Mynach Gorge, each one built successively over the others, as they needed to be improved for traffic. The lowest of the bridges dating from the 11th century is the original one and is associated with a Devil legend that is common in Britain with minor variations from place to place.
A woman and a cow got stuck on one side of the gorge unable to cross over. The Devil appeared and said that he would build a bridge over the gorge in exchange for the soul of the first living creature to cross it. The Devil finished the bridge and waited in anticipation for the first thing to cross it. The woman cunningly threw a piece of bread across the bridge and her dog ran after it, meaning the Devil had to be satisfied with the soul of a dog.
I would speculate that this legend derives from a foundation sacrifice on the old bridge; it has not yet been proved but sacrifices were carried out as a part of ancient building procedure. Other sacrifices included those at churchyards, where a dog was sacrificed as the first burial so that its spirit would guard the churchyard. This may have led to the legend of the churchyard black dog. It is interesting to note that some bridges with this legend are also said to be haunted by a black dog.
Devils Bridge is an amazing place to visit as the bridge crosses a deep narrow gorge with a very fast flowing river. Paths are laid out with with some steps that enable you to get unique views of site.
See Also: Devil’s Bridge Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
Directions: Reached from the A4120 at Mynach