Clapper Bridge - nr. The Windy Cross - Dartmoor, Devon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 50° 33.026 W 004° 04.165
30U E 424237 N 5600379
Quick Description: A clapper bridge across the Grimstone and Sortridge leat, near The Windy Post on Dartmoor.
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/4/2018 3:17:26 PM
Waymark Code: WMY7C9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 3

Long Description:
A clapper bridge across the Grimstone and Sortridge leat. Constructed of two pieces of Dartmoor Granite laid lengthways across the leat, the ends resting on the banks.

Nearby is a Bullseye Stone and 'The Windy Post cross'.

"One thing Dartmoor is not lacking is rivers, streams and leats which when travelling all need crossing by one means or another. There are basically three ways to cross such water courses; by way of a ford, stepping stones, (known on Dartmoor as ‘Steps’) and bridges. There are three types of bridge on the moor, the larger conventional bridge, wooden bridges (which are called clams) and clapper bridges. William Crossing (visit link) , (1990, p.14), describes a clapper bridge as being: ‘A bridge composed of immense slabs of unwrought granite laid upon buttresses and piers of the same… They are mostly on the line of pack-horse tracks and were probably built by the farm settlers in the Forest (of Dartmoor)’. Whilst being a fairly good description it also should be added that some of the smaller clappers have no piers and are laid directly into the banks of the watercourse and also some Dartmoor clappers are associated with mining activities.

English Heritage give a more generic description as being; ‘A clapper bridge is a structure designed to carry a trackway across a river by means of one or more large, flat stone slabs, either resting directly on the river banks or supported on dry-stone piers. They are recognised in the field as monuments of dry-stone construction of simple form and include everything from a slab thrown across a stream to the “classic” examples with slabs and piers of drystone construction. Many examples still survive and are in use today, others survive as ruined structures and are recognised by piers projecting from the river bed, sometimes with a few slabs still in place’. There are two distinct types of Dartmoor clappers; bridges with a single span or bridges with multiple spans and they can range from 1 – 13 metres in length. In some cases there are two slabs lying side by side thus forming a much wider span which allowed bigger carts etc to cross."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Ordnance Survey map reference (10 figure) if within DNP – If outside the Park, add N/A: SX 5349074342

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