A symbolic bridge

Bridges, they cross rivers, roads, railways, and valleys and borders. They can be built of stone, wood, rope and metal. Their symbolism is vast, at birth as we separate from mother, as transition points throughout life, and into the unknown of death

That is the road we all have to take, over the bridge of sighs into eternity’ Soren Kierkegaard.

We speak of building bridges instead of walls when relationships have broken down .

We all have favourite bridges don’t we? this is one of mine. It’s a Clapper bridge and if you’ve ever travelled across Dartmoor in Devon there’s a fair chance that you’ve stopped and admired it.

Clapper bridge
Clapper bridge

It’s believed that it dates back to the 13th century to enable pack horses to cross the river Dart.  Personally it symbolizes a connection with that distant past, a walk back in time.  How many feet have walked across it since those ancestors laboured over its construction – from slabs of granite? How much or little has that landscape changed since then?

How would you photograph a symbol that has meaning for you? that’s this week’s photo challenge, perhaps you’ll join in.

44 thoughts on “A symbolic bridge

  1. A beautiful bridge, Gilly, with its history and personal symbolism. I’d love an aerial view too, to see the actual surface those feet have trodden. If I were taking part in this challenge, I think I’d choose something vast – wild ocean or monumental tree or anything that dwarfed a person – to symbolise the insignificance of a human being.

  2. What a great take on the challenge Gilly. I must say this one has me thinking. Love the bridge. Can you still walk over it? Though I’m not sure I’d want to given there are no railings! My sense of balance isn;t all that good these days.

    1. Yes you can walk across and paddle under it, I don’t think you’d have any trouble! the nicest road across Dartmoor is right next to it and several walks begin nearby!

    1. You can walk across, but I don’t think I’d want to lead a pack horse over. Centuries ago it would have been better than the river especially in winter!

  3. “Personally it symbolizes a connection with that distant past, a walk back in time. ” = I felt like you described when I walked over the Limes path made by Caesar and his soldiers…

      1. Dartmoor! I can’t remember the last time I was down that way, Gilly 😦 I’ll have to peer awful hard next time I fly to Algarve 🙂

  4. What a picturesque bridge, Gilly. I’m not sure I’d want to cross it, but just looking is awesome. 🙂 I’ll not dwell on the thought of the final Bridge of Sighs on this bright summer’s afternoon. 😕

  5. A great description for your bridge photo. And, a perfect entry for the challenge. I’m with Sylvia on – ‘That is the road we all have to take, over the bridge of sighs into eternity’ Soren Kierkegaard. – especially during this healing time for me, but, a lovely quote none-the-less.
    Have a GREAT weekend, Gilly.
    Issy 😊

      1. Humans have been doing the same thing for thousands of years…there really is nothing new. It’s just that things are easier to do now, maybe?

  6. Love this! That bridgebis so simple yet so evocative! I agree with you that bridges are so full of symbolism. In a way they are a sign of hope. They will always take us somewhere, even when the destination is unknown!

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